LEAVING CHELTENHAM ..............and all that was dear

 

 

War Memorials, Rolls of Honour and War Registers

of the Great War

in Cheltenham and the Surrounding Areas

 

Facts and Figures

 

Battle of Loos - 25th September 1915

Cheltenham lost 44 of its sons on one day.  The 25th of September 1915 was the first day of The Battle of Loos when the 10th Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment and other regiments attacked German lines around the small French mining town of Loos near the Belgian border.   The battalion was decimated and 36 Cheltonians were amongst the dead.   Other battalions in the battle lost 8 Cheltonians and the full roll of Cheltenham dead can be viewed here.

 

Commemorated Cheltonians Who Lie in Foreign Fields

Foreign Field

Names

Cemeteries

Australia

1

1

Belgium

121

60

Burma

1

1

Canada

4

4

Egypt

9

4

France

513

256

Germany

8

4

Greece (Lemnos)

3

2

India  (Note 1)

8

6

Italy

8

7

Kenya

1

1

Malta

4

1

Mespot (Iran)

1

1

Mespot (Iraq)

15

3

Nigeria (Adamava)

1

1

Now Pakistan   (Note 2)

4

3

Palestine (Israel)

11

6

Russia

1

1

Greece (Salonika)

14

7

Singapore

1

1

South Africa

1

1

Tanganyika (Tanzania)

4

1

Turkey (Gallipoli)

14

11

USA

1

1

Totals

745

381

Note:

1.   4 of these burials are un-maintainable and are commemorated on either the Delhi Memorial or the Kirkee 1914 - 1918 War Memorial.   See here for details.

2.   2 of these burials are un-maintainable and are commemorated on either the Karachi Memorial or the Delhi Memorial.   See here for details.

Commemorated Cheltonians Listed on Memorials To The Missing

Country Names Memorials

Aden

1

1

Belgium

168

5

Egypt

3

2

France

331

15

Germany

1

1

Gibraltar

1

1

(Mespot) Iran

1

1

(Mespot) Iraq

19

2

(Palestine) Israel

8

1

Italy

1

1

Greece (Salonika)

3

1

Tanzania

1

1

Turkey (Gallipoli)

46

2

UK

47

6

Totals

631

40

Notes:

1.   The nine commemorated on Memorials in India and Pakistan are buried in un-maintainable graves.

 

Commemorated Cheltonians Buried in the UK and Ireland

Country Names Cemeteries
England 173 52
Channel Islands 1 1
Ireland 2 2
Scotland 4 4
Wales 2 2
Unknown 28 Unknown

Totals

210

61 known

 

Individual Facts and Figures

There are a total of 1620 names listed on the War Memorials and Rolls of Honour in the Cheltenham and surrounding area.   Of these, 986 were killed in action on land, in the air and at sea, (34 at sea), 297 died of wounds, 224 died of illness, 37 were killed in accidents, 14 were killed at sea, 7 were lost at sea, 20 died whilst a prisoner-of-war, 1 was murdered, 1 died of unspecified cause, 28 are unknown/unidentified and 5 were commemorated in error.

 

Many more fascinating facts and figures have emerged from the research - though an enormous amount has been gleaned from the book.   The most significant fact is that the town lost 44 of its sons on one day, the 25th September 1915, the first day of the Battle of Loos, including 2 who were awarded posthumous Victoria Crosses on this day for gallantry at Loos.  These 44 men are commemorated here and the VC winners can be viewed here.  

 

A total of 99 of those commemorated Cheltonians and others whose death was the result of service in the Great War are buried in CWGC graves within Cheltenham Cemetery and a further 19 are buried in graves which are not officially recognised as war graves.   Some 107 Cheltonians and 16 others are commemorated on the headstones of family or relatives in this cemetery and these are listed here.   There are 196 commemorated on family headstones in the 11 local cemeteries and a summary of these can be viewed here.  There are 29 who are remembered on commemorative plaques, tablets and stained glass windows in 13 local churches, chapels and other establishments and another 5 have been discovered elsewhere in the UK.

A total of 749 Cheltonians are buried as war casualties in 384 cemeteries throughout the world.   513 are buried in 256 cemeteries in France and 121 are buried in 60 cemeteries in Belgium.   16 Cheltonians are buried in the Etaples Cemetery, France, alone.

631 Cheltonians who were killed in battle on land, at sea or in the air and have no known grave are commemorated on 40 Memorials To The Missing around the World.   There are 331 commemorations on 15 memorials in France with 139 being listed on the Thiepval Memorial in the Somme area.   A further 168 commemorations on 5 memorials are in Belgium, mostly in the Ypres area.   54 Cheltonians were killed or died at sea and are commemorated on Naval and other Memorials which can be viewed here.   7 were buried at sea.

There are a total of 182 commemorated Cheltonians and others who are known to be buried within 61 cemeteries in UK and Ireland and a list of these can be viewed here.   A further 28 are thought to be buried in the UK, mostly in the Cheltenham area and investigations continue to locate these graves.

 

Personal Facts and Figures

ALINGTON Gervase Winford Stovin

Cpl ALINGTON is one of only two Cheltonian recipients of the Military Medal and Bar (see Sgt SURMAN, below).   He was killed in action in Belgium just 2 days before the Armistice.

BOWSTEAD Arthur James

At the age of 58, possibly the oldest Cheltonian to be killed on active service.   He died of wounds in France on 4th September 1917.

BOWSTEAD James Ernest

Possibly the "unluckiest" Cheltonian, who served in France with 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment throughout the Great War without illness or injury only to succumb to pneumonia on 3rd February 1919 less than a month after returning to UK.   No relation to BOWSTEAD above.

BROOKE-MURRAY Kenneth Algernon

The original wooden cross which stood over the grave of Captain Brook-Murray between 1916 and 1923 is now on display in St Stephen's Church.   It is reputed that this officer was the first man of the BEF to land in France in August 1914 (as a member of the Army Service Corps).   He died of wounds received in aerial combat in France on 23rd September 1916.

BUTLER Harold Albert

Probably the first Cheltonian to be killed in action in the Great War when during the Battle of Mons on 24th August 1914 he was killed whilst serving with 119th Battery RFA.

CHAMBERLAIN Charles

Sgt Maj Chamberlain of the Royal Field Artillery is the only Cheltonian recipient of the Military Medal and two Bars.   He was killed in action, in France, on 4th November 1918 just 7 days before the Armistice.

DELANEY Cecil James

Was probably only 16 when killed in action at the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915 whist serving with 10th Bn Gloucestershire Regiment.

DUNN Reginald Theodore

Commemorated on 6 memorials in the area - CH AS LU SA SM GR.   He was killed in action on the Somme on 18th August 1916.

EMMES Thomas Henry

Commemorated on the Cheltenham War Memorial and his son, Francis George, is listed on the World War 2 section of that memorial.   Thomas died of wounds on the Somme on 30th August 1916.

HAWKINS Archibald

Commemorated on 6 memorials in the area - CH CA HA CK CKC GR.   Brother of Reginald, below.   He was killed in action in Belgium on 6th June 1915.

HAWKINS Reginald

Commemorated on 6 memorials in the area - CH CA HA CK CKC GR.   Brother of Archibald, above.   Killed in action in France whilst serving with the RAF on 29th July 1918.

KING Joseph Sydney

There is evidence that he enlisted in 1914 at the age of 15.   He was wounded on the first day of the Battle of Loos on 25th September 1915 and evacuated to UK where he died at the Netley Military Hospital on 8th October 1915.  He was probably 16 years old.  He is buried in Cheltenham Cemetery.

MASON family

The MASON family of Albert Street, St Peter's, Cheltenham lost 3 sons in the war.   Frederick, 10 Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on 19th August 1916.   Harold, 10th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, was killed in action at Neuve Chapelle on 19th March 1916.   Joseph, 1st Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps, who was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in October 1917, was killed in action on 29th November 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai.   All three brothers are commemorated on the Cheltenham War Memorial, the St Peter's Church War Memorial, the St Mary's Church Roll of Honour and the Salem Baptist Church Roll of Honour.   Joseph is also listed on the St Paul's Church War Memorial.

MACKAY Duncan Ronald Gordon DFC

Captain Mackay, Royal Air Force died on 11th November 1918, Armistice Day, whilst a POW of the Germans.

MATHER family

The MATHER family of Parabola Road, Cheltenham lost 3 sons in the war.   Ellis, 17th Battalion The Kings Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme on 11th July 1916.   John of the 1st Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment, was killed in action in the Ypres area of Belgium on 19th February 1915.   Robert, 20th Battalion Kings Regiment, was killed in action in the Flies area of France on 27th March 1918.   All three brothers are commemorated on the Cheltenham War Memorial and the Christ Church Roll of Honour.

ROBERTS Elizabeth Hannah Jane

Serving in the WRAF at the time of her death on 28 October 1918, a victim of pneumonia.  The only female to have a  Commonwealth War Grave in Cheltenham Cemetery but she is not commemorated any memorial or Roll Of Honour in the town.  (Name added to the Cheltenham War Memorial in 2016).

SURMAN Leslie Howard

Sgt Surman was one of only two Cheltonians who gained a bar to the Military Medal for bravery in the field.   He was killed in action in Belgium on 14th October 1918.  The other recipient was Cpl Gervase ALINGTON of the London Regt (see above).

WILLIAMS Lewis

Died suddenly of pneumonia/influenza in France on Armistice Day, 11th November 1918, aged 27, whilst serving with 8th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.

 

 

Page last updated:   9th June 2018

 

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