“If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England…………”
Rupert Brooke 1887-1915
Private 57274 George William Abbey of the 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment was born in Kings Langley though the address given at the time of his enlistment in Oxford was that of his mother, Kate Abbey of New road Weedon. His date of birth is not known. He died on 30 September 1918 from wounds received during the advance from Ypres along the Menin Road to the battle of Koelenburg Ridge, which was taken on the day he died. George is buried at Haringe Belgium. His brother J Abbey, who served in and survived the Great War, was one of the leading members of the committee which raised the money for the memorial.
Private T/242918 Leonard Halsey of the 7th Battalion The Queen’s Regiment (Royal West Surreys) was born in 1888 to Mary and Harry Halsey of Weedon. The address given at the time of his death was “Myncott”, Weedon which was also the address of his wife Vera B Halsey. He died on 23 March 1918 during one of the many battles which took place in the area around Pozieres, a village some 6 kms North east of Albert. It was in this area that in the summer of 1916 that the Australians attempted to capture Hill 160, a fortified mill occupied by the Germans and suffered their most severe casualties. Leonard has no known grave but is commemorated on the Pozieres memorial where the names of the missing are recorded under their Regiments.
Private 766372 Lionel Edward Allen of the 18/25th Battalion London Regiment Artists Rifles was born in Binbrooke, Lincs in 1884. He was the son of the Rev. FE Allen, Rector of St Mary’s, Hardwick. Prior to enlisting Lionel was a clerk at the Bank of England. He died on 2 January 1918 and is commemorated at Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetary, Manancourt, Somme. These are two villages in the Dept of the Somme between Peronne and Bapaume.
The Artists Rifles were founded in 1859 amid fears of an invasion from France. Edward Stirling formed a volunteer group of painters, sculptors, musicians, architects, engravers and actors from the London artistic community.They bought their own uniforms, their cap badge being the head of Mars, the Roman God of War, and Minerva, goddess of wisdom and atrs. During the First World war the Artists Rifles won eight Victoria Crosses, 822 Military Crosses and many other decorations. In 1941, during the Second World War, David Stirling of the Scots Guards drew up plans faor a hand-picked unit to wreak havoc behind enemy lines, it was called 1st Special Air Service Brigade. After the war, the regiment sought a role in the regular army and a marriage of convenience was arranged to incorporate the Artist’s Rifles, giving birth to the SAS as we know it today. Their magazine is still called “Mars and Minerva”.
Private TF/2550 Charles William Jones of the Middlesex Regiment was born at Maids Morton in 1882, he died 16 September 1916. He was the son of Charles William and Laura Maria Jones, landlords of the Five Elms public House in Weedon from 1899 to 1917. Charles is commemorated at Thiepval Memorial in France.
Corporal 2657590 Charles Frederick Hopcroft of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was born in 1898 and was killed in action in France on 26 April 1917, age just 19. He is buried at Chapelle British cemetery, Holon, Aisne, just SW of St Quentin. It was creared after the Armistice from various battlefield graves around Holon and the nearby woods. Charles Hopcroft was Grace White’s uncle.
Frederick C Jones of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was born in 1879 and died on 11 September 1918. Nothing more is known of this soldier who lost his life very near the end of the war.
Private 266164 Herbert William Jeffs of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing which is situated between Passchendale and Zonnebeke. Nothing is known about Herbert other than he was killed in action on 22 August 1917. The name Tyne Cot or Tyne Cotts was given to the German blockhouse situated in this location, by the Nothumberland Fusileers (Tynesiders). This is the last resting place of some 12000 soldiers of the Commonwealth forces and saw the largest number of burials of both World Wars.
Private 29980 William Ming of the 1st and 8th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment6 was born in Weedon, date not known. He enlisted in Aylesbury, originally joining the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry, transferring later to the Warwickshires. He died on 27 August 1917 in Belgium following a failed attempt to capture enemy territory. He is commemorated in the Tyne Cott Memorial Panels.
The following is an extract from the War Diary for August 1917 compiled by Lt. Colonel FS Hanson commanding 1st/8th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. “The Battalion was based on the east bank of the Steenbeek and ysar Canal. Heavy shelling was suffered by both sides. On 12th August The Royal Warwicks sustained a mustard gas attack and gas masks had to be worn for one and a half hours. Weather conditions were appalling right up to the morning of 27 August. On that day at 1.55pm an attack was launched against the enemy but, owing to the murderous machine gun fire and the impassibility of the ground, the objectives specified were not taken. During this action 35 men and 2 officers were killed, 83 wounded and 54 missing.
2nd Lieutenant Musgrave Cazenove Wroughton of thee 12th Royal Lancers was born in 1891 in London the son of William Musgrove Wroughton and Edith Constance Wroughton (nee Cazenove). He died on 23 August 1914 from wounds received in Belgium. He is buried in Kemmel Churchyard, Heuvelland, West Vlaanderen, Belgium ( about 8km SW of Ypres). He is commemorated on a brass plaque in the north wall of St Mary’s Church and on the 12th Lancers War memeorial at Moottan Barracks, Tidworth. Henry Cazenove, one time High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, lived at the Lillies in Weedon. He had two daughters, one of which married William Musgrove Wroughton in 1880. Musgrove Cazenove Wroughton was their son. He was commissioned into the 12th Lancers in 1913. On 30 October 1914 the Cavalry Brigade was under heavy German attack at Hollebecke Ridge, Belgium. It was during this attack that Wroughton received wounds from which he died. As a consequence of his part in this action he was mentioned in Dipatches.
15996 Private Herbert William Ming of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was born in Weedon in 1894. He lived with his parents Tom and Annie Ming at 5 Providence Place Weedon along with his brother Fred and sisters Vera and Gertrude. He enlisted in the Army on 12 August 1914 after leaving his job as a grocer’s assistant. He was posted to France on 4 October 1914 and was killed in action on 13 March 1915. He has no known grave. He is commemorated at Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. This cemetery lies about 4 miles NE of Bethune. It was used by the Guards Division and Indian Corps during the battle of Festubert. Apart from the graves the Memorial lists 13,749 missing with no known grave. The memorial and cemetery contain the names of those who fell during the battles of La Basse, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers Ridge and Festubert. Herbert’s Service medals were received by his parents between 1919 and 1925.
204775 Private Leonard William Hughes of the 15th Battalion the Hampshire Regiment (Hampshire Yeomanry) was born in 1894 the son of William and Jane Hughes of Leonard Cottage, Hardwick. He died on Saturday 23 March 1918 in France. He is buried at Grevillers British Cemetary, Pas de Calais. The cemetery and the New Zealand memorial which stands in the grounds was designed by Sir Edward Lutyens. The village of Grevillers is 3k west of Bapaume and was occupied by Commonwealth troops in March 1917. An Australian casualty clearing station was set up near by and used the cemetery for the next 12 months.At this point it was recaptured by the Germans, but in 1918 the Australians were back and the cemetery began to expand. Of the 2016 Commonwealth servicemen buried here, only 18 are not identified.