Men of Farndon

Herbert Davies 131609 82nd Small Arms Ammunition Col. Royal Field Artillery

Driver Herbert Davies was born in King's Marsh,the son of William and Elizabeth Davies, who farmed at Rowley Hill. William died while Herbert was an infant, and the family were eventually forced to sell up and move into a house in Farndon High Street. Herbert served in the Salonika Campaign in Greece, where he died aged twenty-eight on 28 November 1917. He is buried in Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery.

Thomas W Edge 10th (Shropshire and Cheshire Yeomanry) Bn. King's Shropshire Light Infantry

Thomas Edge was the son of William and Phyllis Edge of Clutton, Chester and lived in the local village Post Office. His father William, as well as earning his living as a farmer, was also the village post master, and his father before him also ran the shop while dealing in cattle on the side. He joined the 1st Cheshire Yeomanry, which later merged with the 1/1st Shropshire Yeomanry to form the 10th Shropshire and Cheshire Yeomanry Battalion. Thomas Edge was killed in action aged twenty-two in the battle around Loos on 22 August 1918. His body was never found.

William Edge 31026 8th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment

William Edge was the son of John and Mary Edge, of Bridge House, Farndon, Chester. When the war came he enlisted with the 8th (Service) Battalion South Lancashire Regiment. He was killed in action on 8 June 1917 aged 25. The body of William Edge was never found and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium

John Gauterin Cheshire Yeomanry 2nd Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment

When the war came, the men of the Gauterin family heeded the call. Brothers, Arthur, John, Ernest and Fred all served, as well as their in-laws, the Clubbes from nearby Churton. They were also in the unusual situation of facing their German cousins on the other side. John Gauterin died of wounds on 21 Oct 1916 aged 23, but this extensive work by Peter Gauterin, great nephew of John, covers all family members who served in the war.

Albert Ince 7th Battalion, Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)

Private Albert Ince was the son of Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Ince, of Barton Road, Farndon. He was the brother of Henry L Ince who was killed in action in Greece in 1918, who is also on the Farndon Memorial. Albert ('Bert') was a member of the Farndon Brass band and is pictured here in his uniform. He was killed in action on 12 Oct 1917 in the Third Battle of Ypres aged 31. The body was never found and he is commemorated on the Memorial Wall at Tyne Cot cemetery, Belgium.

Henry L Ince 36551 2nd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment

Private Henry 'Harry' Ince was the son of Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Ince, of Barton Road, Farndon. He was the brother of Albert Ince who was killed in the Third Battle of Ypres, Belgium in October 1917. Harry enlisted with the Cheshire Regiment and served in the Salonika Campaign in Greece. Conditions were appalling with more men suffering from disease and illness than from military action. Harry went down with Malaria only to recover and be sent back into action where he suffered fatal wounds and died a couple of weeks later in hospital in Salonika.

Joseph Jones 16th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Sergeant Joseph Jones was the son of Margaret Catherine and the late Thomas Jones, of Deva Terrace, Farndon. He enlisted with the 16th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers and participated in their capture of Mametz Wood, where he was badly wounded during the final assault on the wood on 11 July 1916, before being moved behind the lines to a military hopital in Rouen, where he died. He was only 23 years old. Joseph was buried in St Sever Military Cemetery.

Lewis Martyn 64th Field Company Royal Engineers

Lewis Martyn spent much of his youth moving from village to village as his father Sergeant Wallace Martyin, was a village Bobby and was frequently posted to different police stations in Cheshire, including Farndon. Sergeant Martyn who married a girl from Farndon eventually retired here and lived on the High Street. When Lewis signed on for the war he joined the Royal Engineers as a sapper. Lewis Martyn is recorded on the memorial panels to the missing at Tyne Cot Cemetery, along with around 35,000 soldiers who were never found following the battles around Ypres and the Salient. Yet on the memorial gravetone in Farndon Churchyard, the Martyn family have recorded that Lewis was killed in action on 26 May 1918 and interred at La Roukloshille in France. This article about the family also tries to throw light on this anomaly.

Frank E Moscate 4th Battalion Tank Corps

Frank Moscate had an eventful time in his tragically short life. He had risen from a difficult childhood to be a manager of a saddlers business in Liverpool, had been called up in the conscription of 1916, served in the Royal Field Artillery, the Royal Engineers and the Tank Corps, and had make quite a mark on those he had met, worked and served with, not least his fiancée back in Liverpool. Read about his tragic story here.

Godfrey Felix Owen South African Mounted Rifles (attached to the Royal Irish Regiment)

Lieutenant Godfrey Owen was the son of Alice Owen and the Reverend Lewis Edward Owen, who had been the Rector of the village church, St.Chad's, for thirty years until his death in 1909. The Reverend Owen had already lost his eldest son Robert, who died while he was serving in the Imperial Yeomanry in Burma in 1905. Shortly after leaving college in 1901, Godfrey Owen emigrated to Natal in Africa, married and settled in Ladysmith. In the First World War he served as a Lieutenant in the South African Mounted Rifles, and the Royal Irish Regiment, until his death in 1918 aged thirty-six. His two brothers also served in WW1 - Lieutenant Christopher Owen, who had also emigrated and was managing a tea plantation in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), but fought with the Ceylon Planter's Rifles and the Royal Welch Regiment in Gallipoli. He was severely wounded and lost a leg, while Captain Oliver Owen fought on the Ypres Salient with the 9th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, but was captured and remained a prisoner of war for three years. This is a comprehensive account of the four remarkable officer sons of the vicar of Farndon.

Arthur Parker 1st Battalion Auckland Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force

Arthur Parker was born in 1891 in Farndon, the son of local butcher and farmer George Parker and his wife Anne. This was a large family - Arthur was the eleventh of twelve children. After leaving school, he worked with his father as a young farmer, but in 1908, while still only sixteen, he took the brave decision to emigrate with his older brother Donald to New Zealand, where they headed to the farm being run out there by their eldest brother Harry. When the war started, Arthur enlisted with the Auckland Regiment and landed with the ANZACS at Gallipoli, but he became very ill and was shipped back to Britain. On recovery, he was posted to France where he fought on the Somme, and was killed in action on 28 September 1916. His body was not recovered, and he is remembered on the memorial at Caterpillar Valley (New Zealand) Cemetery on the Somme. This article also details the role played by his brothers in the war.

Samuel Pugh 2nd Cheshire Yeomanry, 8th Labour Company, King's Liverpool Regiment

Samuel Pugh was the son of James and Sarah Pugh of the hamlet of Barton, near Farndon. When Samuel was old enough he moved into the Barton Road farm of neighbour Charles Fatherson, to work as a waggoner, where his older brother Thomas, aged twenty-three, was already working as a cowman. When the war broke out he was posted to the Cheshire Yeomanry. But on 19 February 1915, after a total of 131 days service, he was discharged as 'no longer being physically fit for further war service'. However, once greater demands were being made upon recruitment into 1917, Samuel was conscripted, and he was posted to the 8th Labour Company, King's Liverpool Regiment. He was killed in action aged thirty-four on 25 July 1917 on the Ypres Salient, Belgium, during the preparations for the Third Battle of Ypres. He had been in the army for only 5 months.

John Shaw 'D' Company, 9th Battalion Cheshire Regiment, Formerly 3rd Cheshire Yeomanry

John Shaw was the son of Walter and Elizabeth Ann Shaw of Crewe Hall, a large farm in Crewe-by-Farndon, a hamlet just to the south of Farndon village in Cheshire. When the war came, John continued his work looking after the dairy herd on the farm, but when conscription was introduced in January 1916, he was posted into the 3rd Cheshire Yeomanry, then later to the 9th Cheshires. He was badly wounded in the Battle of Messines, but despite being shipped back to the base hospital in Rouen, France, he died on 30 July 1917. He was buried in the nearby cemetery of St Sever Cemetery. Sergeant Joseph Jones of Farndon was also laid to rest in this cemetery.

Joseph James Stretton 17th Battalion, The King's Liverpool Regiment

Joseph James Stretton was born in Liverpool on 15 August 1895, the son of Albert Stretton and Sarah Ann Cartwright (nee Baines), but his link with Farndon actually goes back to his paternal grandparents, Joseph James Stretton, a coachman, and Elizabeth, a domestic cook, who were live-in servants in Belmont House. When the war came, Joseph signed on in Liverpool and was enlisted into the 17th Battalion, The King's Liverpool Regiment - one of the Old Pal's regiments. He took part in the action in the Battle of Arras, which is where he lost his life on 26 April 1917, aged twenty-one. The precise circumstances are unknown and his body was not recovered, but he is remembered on the Arras Memorial to the Missing in the centre of the town. The article also includes Joseph's half-brother, James Cartwright.

Reginald (Robert) Thelwall 47th Bn., Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario Regiment)

Tracing Reginald has been quite a puzzle. Although he is on the War Memorial, he is not on the Commonwealth War Graves Register. This is not unusual, but it has hampered research. Yet there is a Robert Thelwall on the CWGC register. His father was Dr Thelwall - Same as Reginald's father, so clearly they must be brothers. But the age given at death fits Reginald, not Robert. Could Robert have taken Reginald's identity to get into the army? Dr Thelwall was William Thelwall M.R.C.S., L.S.A., a surgeon who was born in Farndon and lived at Bridge House, near the end of the bridge over the Dee. Read more about the family and what happened to the the sons of William Thelwall, and their military service. Read too about how Thelwalls, and their relatives from the village, were pioneer settlers in New Zealand, and left a little bit of Farndon behind - but in New Zealand, not here.

James Weaver 13th Battalion Cheshire Regiment

The Weaver family lived in Barton Wells in the hamlet of Barton, a mile or so east of Farndon village. Situated on the sharp rise near the Cock o' Barton Inn, the family had a direct lineage in Barton going back to the mid 1600s. By his early teens he was labouring on a local farm, but when the war broke out he joined the 13th Battalion Cheshire Regiment. James died on 15 May 1916 aged twenty-one, and given the date of his death it is likely that he lost his life during the battle on Vimy Ridge to the north east of Arras, the first action involving the 13th Battalion. He is buried in Ecoivres Military Cemetery, around 4 miles north west of Arras in France.

Thomas Weaver 2nd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment

At the age of eighteen, after a few teenage years as a farm labourer, Tom junior decided on a life in the army. He signed on for nine years for the Cheshire Regiment on 11 January 1906. He served in India for several years and when war broke out, his battalion were brought home in November 1914, the despatched to France in January 1915. He was killed in action shortly afterwards on 17 February, aged twenty-eight, in The Second Battle of Ypres. His body was never recovered. This, sadly, was far from uncommon in the battles that raged around the Ypres Salient, and his name was recorded on the Menin Gate in Ypres, in company with 55,000 others who were never found.
As well as James and Thomas, this article features their brother Frank, and cousin Alfred, who survived the war.

Charles N Williamson 2nd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment

Charles Williamson came from Churton village, just to the north of Farndon. He was the son of local publican Samuel Holland Williamson who resided at The Red Lion Inn. He died on the Somme on 21 October 1916 aged twenty one.


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