Five years ago the North St Margarets Residents Association, NSMRA, began researching the lives of 86 local men whose names are recorded on the World War 1 ‘Roll of Honour’ in All Souls Church, in Haliburton Road. With the information gathered, on Saturday October 25th NSMRA was able to organise a “War Walk” around our neighbourhood, visiting some of their homes and learning something about the families that once lived there. Here are some of those WW1 stories from our own streets…
CORPORAL PERCY DAVIES
the publican’s son, lived in the Ailsa Tavern
On 31st December 1915 Percy and his section were returning from the front line at Vermelle in northern France when they lost their way in the maze of trenches. Percy volunteered to climb up onto the parapet to see if he could find the way back and was shot by a sniper.
“He died as he lived amongst us, trying to do something to help others in a difficulty… He was one of the best fellows that ever stepped.”
CAPT. C.H. FAIR – ‘A’ Company 1st London Regiment.
One of two brothers killed in the Great War. He died on the Somme in October 1916 ‘trying to relieve the mounting pressure on the French Army at Verdun.’ Eventually, after months of continuous conflict, the British General staff concluded that as the Germans had suffered 650,000 casualties and we only had suffered 615,000 logically we had won.
“The General Staff note that the necessity of relieving pressure on the French Army at Verdun remains, and is more urgent than ever. This is, therefore, the first objective to be obtained by the combined British and French offensive. The second objective is to inflict as heavy losses as possible upon the German armies.”
PRIVATE REGINALD FREDERICKS
Died on the Somme on 26th June 1916, just 5 days before the infamous “Big Push”. He was 18 years old. His mother Carrie ran a laundry in the family house. Due to bureaucratic error on Reginald Fredericks ‘Grave Registration Document’ his name is given as Reginald Frederickson.
ARTHUR EDWARD LONG
Another victim of clerical error. He was a Lance Corporal in the 2nd Dragoon Guards and died at home on the 28th May 1915, probably from wounds. He is now buried in Isleworth Cemetery along with 21 other servicemen from the Great War. According to his records he had once been a Private in the Imperial Camel Corps… which is very strange because the Imperial Camel Corps was not raised until December 1916, 18 months after he was killed.
GEORGE ARTHUR ARNOLD
Was Wireless Operator on the armed oil tanker “S.S Powhatan”. He died on 6th April 1917 when the ship was sunk by the German submarine U-66 under the command of Kptlt. Thorwald von Bothmer. Only the ship’s master survived the attack. George Arnold’s name is recorded on the Tower Hill Memorial in London which commemorates men and women of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who died in both World Wars without a known grave. In civilian life George was an Assurance Collector.
Although the 1ST World war was such a long time ago there remains a profound and national need to remember and reflect. There are a number of local events coming up that will allow us to do just that…
- At 11.00am on Sunday 9th November, 390 children, each representing a local fallen hero, will mark the armistice by marching past Isleworth War Memorial.
- At 11.00am on Tuesday 11th November there will be a simple and reflective ‘Act of Remembrance’ at the Roll of Honour in All Souls Church.
- At 3.00pm on Sunday December 14th NSMRA will commemorate wartime Christmas with a festival of song and poetry in All Souls Church with a Christmas tea.
- In the early spring of next year NSMRA is planning a dusk visit to Isleworth Cemetery to visit the graves of WW1 servicemen who died of wounds at home. Visitors will discover that the distance is not so great between Ypres and Isleworth.
There will be more stories about the local men and women who experienced the Great War next week in THE WAR WALK #2 – ‘FROM YPRES TO ISLEWORTH’
— from Martyn Day
Read the first instalment, The War Walk #2 – ‘From Ypres To Isleworth’