Learning more about those who were killed in the two world wars.
The annual Remembrance service held at Grateley Parish Church each November seems to be so many others, a service of sadness mixed with pride. In one way it is very special in that, just before the start of the 2 minute silence, the names of those villagers who died in the two world wars are recited.
Having heard the names of those who those who died, on several occasions, I was drawn to try to find out more about these men. Michael Longyear's history of the village has provided some light and helping my daughter, with her Year 9 history homework, encouraged me to look deeper.
The official records (Census details, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and military histories) have provided some information of their births and deaths; however little is available about who they were or of their lives as villagers. Perhaps visitors to the village website could help fill in the gaps. On so doing, we can remember them, not just as servicemen whose names are commemorated in graves or on memorials across the world, but as family members who once lived in the village and whose memory is not lost. The information I have so far gleaned is detailed below. If anybody would like to contribute any additional information about the men listed then please contact us by clicking here.
Those who served in the First World War
- Leonard Pickering. Leonard Pickering was born in 1891 and was the son of Leonard and Ann Pickering of the Manor House, Wilcote, Charlbury in Oxfordshire. According to the Grateley village history, the Pickerings were landowners, Leonard Pickering Senior having owned Manor Farm in the centre of the village. He served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers and at the time of his death, on 9 April 1918, he was serving with 79th Field Company. He is buried in Gentelles Communal Cemetery, on the Somme. His grave was destroyed buy artillery fire and a special memorial commemorates him.
- W E Alexander. Although recorded on the memorial as a private soldier in the Royal Marine Artillery, there is no record of his death in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website and my searches in other places have yet to find anything about this man. There is a record of CJ Alexander, who came from the village, and who was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal and a Military Meal for his bravery. CJ Alexander survived the war; perhaps WE Alexander is somehow related to him.
- George Dangerfield. George was born in 1881 at Corhampton in the Meon Valley. The fourth son of Thomas and Ann Dangerfield, he was married to Rose and they lived at the Railway Cottage in Amport. Enlisting in Andover, he served with 2/4th (Territorial Force) Battalion of The Hampshire Regiment. He later served with the 14th Battalion The Hampshire Regiment, which mainly fought in France and was disbanded on 22 March 1918. George died of wounds, aged 37, on 15th December 1918 and is buried in the grounds of St Leonard's Church, Grateley.
- William Charles Goddard. Although the memorial records Pte "D" Goddard of the Hampshire Regiment, I have been unable to locate anyone with this name in the official records. William Goddard was however a resident of Grateley who was born in Tidworth; his parents being George and Mary Ann Goddard who later lived at Back St, Appleshaw. He enlisted at Winchester (regimental number 10469) and served as a private soldier with 2nd Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. He died at sea on 13 Aug 1915 aged 25 years. He was drowned after HM Transport "Royal Edward" was torpedoed, and sunk, by a German submarine in the Aegean Sea whilst en route for the attack on Turkey. William is commemorated on the Helles memorial on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
- Charles E Horne. Charles Horne was born in Grateley in 1892 and, according to the 1901 census, his parents were Mr and Mrs. Fred Horne of the Railway Cottages; Fred being a railway signalman. More about the family can be found in the village history. Charles was a Regular soldier in 1st Battalion The Hampshire Regiment. He arrived in Le Havre on 23 Aug 1914 and served with them during the initial German attacks in Belgium. Charles was killed in action, aged 22, on 18 November 1914 and is, somewhat unusually, buried in Ploegsteert Churchyard with the Officers of the Battalion. The majority of other ranks are buried in the Lancashire Farm cemetery close by so there must have been something special about Charles' death.
- Archibald Hoare. Archibald was born in Quarley in 1878, one of 4 sons born to George and Agnes Hoare who later became the grocers and bakers in Grateley (possibly at Hope Cottage). More about the Hoares can be found in Michael Longyear's village history. Archibald was married to Lydia Mary Hoare and they lived at "Chez-Nous," 7 Frensham Rd in Southsea. A captain in the 12th Battalion, the King's Royal Rifle Corps (not 2nd Bn as stated on the memorial), he took part in the attack on the German defensive position known as the Hindenburg line on 20th November 1917, which was the first phase of the Battle of Cambrai. He died of wounds, aged 39, on 27 November 1917 and is buried at Tincourt New British Cemetery near Peronne. He is also commemorated on his father and mother 's gravestone in Grateley churchyard. further information
Those who served in the Great War 1939 to 1945
- Wilfred John Ayres. John Ayres was the one of twins born to Edgar and Agnes Ayres of Grateley; the Ayres (or Ayers) being established in the village for many generations. He was born in 1924 and served with 1st Battalion The Hampshire Regiment. A private soldier, he died on D Day, during the Battalion's assault on the Normandy coast, and is buried in Bayeux War Cemetery in Normandy
- Percival James Ayres. The twin brother of John Ayres, James served as a private soldier with 7th Battalion The Hampshire Regiment. He died, at the age of 21, on 28 March 1945 and is buried in Mook War Cemetary, in the Netherlands.
- Eric Futcher. Eric was born in 1919; he was the son of Mary Kate Futcher who later married William Armstead, of Grateley, Hampshire. He served as a private soldier (5727829) in the 5th Battalion The Dorsetshire Regiment. He died (aged 25) on 10 Jul 1944, during the fighting for Caen, and is buried at Banneville-La-Campagne War Cemetery in Normandy.
- Roy Grant. Roy Grant was born in 1911 and was the son of Alexander and Laura Grant. He was married to Florrie Grant, of Sheldon in Birmingham. He was a Regular soldier (S/52977) in the supply trade of the Royal Army Service Corps. At the time of his death (aged 29) he was serving, as WO2 (SQMS) with 1 Base Supply Depot RASC. The date of his death is recorded as 17 June 1940; this being after the evacuation from Dunkirk; his name is listed on the Dunkirk Memorial, which commemorates more than 4,500 casualties of the British Expeditionary Force, who have no known grave.
- Reginald B Mansell. Reginald Baynes Mansell was born in 1897, the son of Alfred Ernest and Laura Evelyn Mansell of Bristol. He served with the Gloucestershire Regiment, during the First World War, prior to joining the Royal Flying Corps. He transferred to the RAF and later served as Director of Technical Services in Washington, USA, from 1943-45. He was made a Companion of the Bath. Husband of Mabel Lucie Mansell, of Compton Martin, Somerset, he died (aged 48) on 22 January 1945. His name is listed on the Ottawa Memorial, which commemorates 800 men and women of the Commonwealth Air Forces who lost their lives while serving in units from bases in Canada, the British West Indies and the USA, and who have no known graves.
- Arthur D Sheares. Arthur Douglas Shear(e)s served in the RAF Volunteer Reserve as a Leading Aircraftman. He died on 2 December 1943 and is buried on Ambon Island, which lies close to the south west coast of Ceram in the Molucca Group of islands. This War Cemetery was constructed on the site of a former camp for Australian, British and Dutch prisoners of war, some of whom had been transferred from Java in 1943, and many of those buried in it died in captivity.
- Frederick George Gordon Shipsey. Gordon Shipsey was born in 1917, the son of Frederick and Bessie Shipsey of Grateley. He served as a Gunner in the Royal Artillery with 9 Coast Regiment RA; this Regiment was once based at Singapore and it seems likely that he was made a prisoner of war when the British Forces surrendered in 1941. He died (aged 28) on 08 June 1945 in Thailand and is buried at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. This cemetery has many graves of those in which those who killed during the construction of the notorious Burma-Siam railway are buried.
- Terence D Simpson. Terry Simpson was born in 1925; the son of Dennis and Nellie Simpson, of Sudbury, Middlesex. He joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve and served as Sergeant Radio Operator. At the time of his death, aged 19 years, on 27 January 1944, he was serving with 101 Squadron RAF. As he is buried in a collective grave, with 10 others, in the Hanover War Cemetery in West Germany, I assume that he was shot down whilst taking part in a bombing mission over Germany.
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