In the church there is a roll of honour to all the men and women who fought in WW1 and WW2. I am trying to find out a bit about each person so that they are not just a name on a list. Please contact me if you have any information, stories, pictures and please let me know of any mistakes! As always contact me, Editor@birdbrook.net or through the comment page.
The Men that Served in WW1
Ruridecanal Magazine August 1918 'Fred Ager has been in Hospital, but we are glad to hear that he is discharged well again.'
Ruridecanal Magazine November 1918 'We are sorry to hear that Fred Ager was severely wounded on September 28th and that he died shortly afterwards. He was buried in France on October 1st. We offer our sincere sympathy to his family.'
Winnipeg Rifles (Canadian Army)
Above Dan Bacon, Albert Cowell? and Fred Rawlings picture from Ray Bradon
Daniel Bacon was born in 1885 and joined the British Army in his teens. He fought in the Boer War but could have only been 15 or 16 years old. After the war he returned to Birdbrook but emigrated to Canada in 1913.
Ruridecanal Magazine June 1913 'The tide of emigration to Canada has carried with it this year two from our small community. There is said to be plenty of room out there for men who do not mind working hard and roughing it; and we wish Fred Rallings and Dan Bacon every success in their new life. At the same time it is well for people to remember that there is plenty of work to be done in England, at least in this neighbourhood, and that there are many advantages of living in the old country to compensate for the lower wages received here.'
Ruridecanal Magazine June 1917 'Daniel Bacon is serving with the Canadian contingent, in the Winnipeg Rifles. This anouncement should have been made some time ago, but was over looked.'
The World War saw him joining the Canadian Army and returning to Europe. After the war he returned to Canada and settled in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. He never married and ended his days in a veteran's home.
Daniel Bacon with the Canadian Flag
Daniel Bacon proudly receiving a medal. Pictures from Ray Bradon.
Essex Regiment Private
Ruridecanal Magazine May 1916 'We are sorry to hear that George Bacon is in hospital in France ill with pneumonia, but glad that he is reported to be getting better.'
Ruridecanal Magazine August 1917 'George Bacon has received the stripe for two years' good conduct at the war.'
3rd/6th South Staffordshire Regiment Private
Ruridecanal Magazine August 1917 'Everyone was grieved to hear that Cecil Barnes had been killed at the front. Only two days before he had received an appointment as officer's servant. On Monday morning, June 25th, he was engaged in cooking breakfast for a party of officers when he was killed by the explosion of a stray shell. His mother has received letters from officers of his regiment speaking highly of his qualities as a soldier, and of his conduct at the front. She has the sincere sympathy of the people of Birdbrook in her loss.'
10th East Surrey Regiment Private
Ruridecanal Magazine January 1917 'We are very sorry to hear that John Barnes is ill with malarial fever, caught in Salonica. He is in hospital in Malta, let us hope that he may soon be well enough to come home and get up his strength.'
Ruridecanal Magazine February 1917 'We wish John Barnes a speedy and complete recovery - he is still in hospital in Cardiff, suffering from the effects of malaria.'
Ruridecanal Magazine January 1918 reported John Barnes as having been wounded and being in hospital in England.
Ruridecanal Magazine October 1918 'An official report that Private J. Barnes was missing on August 9th would have caused his mother grave anxiety had she not just received more recent intimation from the soldier himself that he was well though he had been through a rough time.
Charles William Basham Service No: 29349
Charles Basham was an Engine Driver married to Elizabeth Julia Hardy on 18th October, 1911. When he enlisted at Colchester on 12th April, 1917 they had one son Ronald Charles Kitchener, born 30th August, 1914.
Ruridecanal Magazine August 1918 'James Bolton, who recently joined the Army, has been placed in the Royal Fusiliers.
2/1st Northants Yeomanry Private
Ruridecanal Magazine January 1917 'We have to congratulate Mr. Richard Chaplain on his promotion, he was gazetted 2nd. Lieutenant in the 2/1st Northants Yeomanry, on November 28th.'
Ruridecanal Magazine July 1917 'Tom Clarke has also been slightly wounded.'
Ruridecanal Magazine November 1918 'We are sorry to hear that Tom Clarke has been wounded.'
Wilfred Lawson Claydon
Ruridecanal Magazine November 1917 'Private Wilfred Lawson Claydon was severely wounded while fighting in France. From the first it was feared that he would not survive, and he passed away in hospital on October 12th. Much sympathy is felt with Mr. Stubbings and his daughter in their bereavement, especially so as it comes so soon after the death of Mrs. Stubbings.'
Ruridecanal Magazine June 1917 reported Tom Coote had been wounded.
Ruridecanal Magazine 1918 'Everyone will be glad to know that Sergeant G. Farrow is making progress in the military hospital at Cambridge, it is wonderful that he is still alive after the very severe wounds he received.
1/4th London Regiment Royal Fusiliers Private
Ruridecanal Magazine January 1916 'Most people in the parish will remember Arthur Green, who lived for some years at Bailey Hill. They will be interested to know that he is fighting with our Army in France.'
Ruridecanal Magazine March 1916 'We regret to announce the death of Arthur Green. He died on January 2? of wounds received while fighting in France. He and two others were wounded by the explosion of a shell in the front line trenches. Letters have been received from officers under whom he reported in which his conduct is very highly spoken. His regiment was the 1/4th London Regiment, Royal Fusilliers, nearly all of us remember him well and are very sorry to hear of his loss, and feel much sympathy with his family in their bereavement.'
Ruridecanal Magazine July 1917 'William Haggart has been slightly wounded; it is satisfactory to hear that his chief regret is that his wound is not considered sufficient cause for his immediate return to Blighty.'
Essex Regiment Private
Ruridecanal Magazine February 1917 'We congratulate Richard Hannibal on having earned the badge for two years clean conduct sheet. And also on his promotion to be Lance-Corporal, we had not previously been informed of this or it would have been announced in the Magazine earlier.'
Ruridecanal Magazine January 1918 'Richard Hannibal is also in hospital suffering from blood poisoning.'
Ruridecanal Magazine May 1918 ' We are sorry to have to record that Private R. Hannibal is wounded. He is now in hospital in England.
Ruridecanal Magazine June 1918 'We are sorry to have to record that Richard Hannibal's wounds were severe. But are thankful to hear that his progress towards recovery so far has been satisfactory.'
Motor Transport Private
Ruridecanal Magazine September 1918 reported Private J. Harding as ill with pneumonia and in hospital in England.
Ruridecanal Magazine March 1916 'Private S. Hayes is still very ill in hospital but is reported to be getting on slowly, we hope to hear soon that he has recovered sufficiently to be moved to a convalescent home.'
Ruridecanal Magazine September 1918 reported Private S. hayes as ill and in hospital.
Royal Field Artillery Sergeant
Ruridecanal Magazine January 1916 'A NEW RECRUIT. - We congratulate Sergt. and Mrs. Hinton on the birth of another son. He arrived two days before Christmas and the day after his father arrived on Christmas leave from the front. We are glad to hear that mother and son are both doing very well. The family has been closely associated with our country's wars, one recalls that one son was born during the South African war, while the father was fighting at Colenso and is named after that battle. Let us hope that this new boy will grow up a strong man and later on fight in his country's army - but in any case that he will prove a faithful soldier of the King of kings.'
Ruridecanal Magazine April 1917 'Reginald Hinton is now well again and is out of hospital.'
Ruridecanal Magazine May 1917 'It is with great regret that we have to record the death of Reginald Hinton. His officer has written to his mother as follows:- "I am sorry to say that your son was badly wounded by shell fire on March 21st. He was taken to hospital and died on March 23rd. We were in billets at the time and an unlucky shell hit the billets and caused 17 casualties. Your son was a good soldier, popular with his comrades, and well liked by his officers." He was only nineteen years of age. When the war broke out nothing would satisfy him but to join the Army, young as he then was. So he had nearly two years of training before he went to the front last summer. Only last month we recorded the fact that he had just come out of hospital. He had been a member of the choir for some years. The sympathy of all is felt with his father and mother in this sad time.'
Richard David Hunt
Transport Driver Army Service Corps Private
Ruridecanal Magazine January 1916 'A WAR WEDDING.- The marriage of private Richard David Hunt and Miss Ann Wilson Haggart took place on Thursday December 9th at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. It was the first war wedding to be held in Birdbrook, and as such excited a great deal of interest. Private Hunt has been engaged in despatch riding in France. He was granted six days special leave of absence in order to be married; it is the only holiday he has had after eleven months at the front. His many friends were glad to get this hurried glimpse of him. The church was pretily decorated for the ceremony with chrysanthemums lent by the Hon. Mrs. Ives, for whom the bridegroom acts as chaffeur in peace time. The bride who was given away by her father was attired in a cream silk dresswith a blue velvet hat and she carried a bouquet of white chrysanthemums and orchids; she was attended by one bridesmaid her sister, Miss Alice Haggart. The best man was the bridegrooms' brother Mr. Frank Hunt. All their friends had joined in sending their good wishes and in presenting them with many useful presents, amongst which were a clock from the Hon. Mrs. Ives, a silver tea-pot from Major and Mrs. Bryce, and a dinner service from Miss Thornhill. In the evening the happy couple left for Bury. On the following Monday, his leave at an end, the bridegroom rejoined the army in France and Mrs. Hunt has once more taken up her residence amongst us - to wait for peace, which we all so much desire, when she may experience the happiness of her own fireside with her soldier husband. Meanwhile she is sure of the good wishes and sympathy of all around.'
Ruridecanal Magazine February 1917 'We congratulate Richard Hunt on having earned the badge for two years clean conduct sheet.'
Alfred Harry Kendall Service No: 224863
Army Transport Corps/Motor Transport/Private
Alfred Kendall was born in 1884, the eldest son of Harry and Louisa aond one of their four sons to join the army. He was a painter by trade. He married Mabel Martin on 25th December 1909 and lived at Boreham Place, Birdbrook. They had two children at the outbreak of the war, Ronald Alfred born 10th February 1912 and Vera Ellen born 26th September 1913. He joined the Army on 12th December, 1915. Invalided to India on 17th July, 1917 and remained there till 18th Januray, 1920 and was demobbed 16th February, 1920.
Medals awarded: India General Service Medal 1908 and clasp Afghanistan; North West Frontier 1919
Edward Frank Kendall
7th East Surrey Regiment Private
Edward Kendall was born in 1895, the youngest son of Harry and Louisa and one of their four sons to join the army. He was a 20 year old single man when he signed up at Haverhill on 12th January, 1915 living at Boreham Place, Birdbrook and working as a Postman.
Ruridecanal Magazine January 1918 reported Edward Kendall as having been wounded and being in hospital in England.
Medals awarded: 1914-1915 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal.
Frederick W. Kendall
Frederick Kendall was born in 1889, third son of Harry and Louisa and one of their four sons to join the army.
Ruridecanal Magazine October 1917 reported Frederick Kendall has been killed in action in France on July 31st. Much sympathy is felt by all with his family.
Herbert Henry Kendall
Royal Fusiliers Private
Herbert Kendall was born in 1894, fourth son of Harry and Louisa and one of their four sons to join the army. He was a valet to Major Bryce and continued this role during the war. Along with Major Bryce he was captured by the Germans but managed to escape. He was a very reserved man on the subject only letting on that they lived on turnips from a field. He married Alice Piper and had two sons Eric, sadly killed in WWII, and Donald. In around 1927 they took over running the shop in Birdbrook until they retired and moved to Beckenham to be near their son Donald and his family.
Ruridecanal Magazine December 1914 'Herbert Kendall has already seen active service, having taken part in the defence of Antwerp, and in the retreat when the defence was abandoned.'
Hertfordshire Regiment Private Service No: 271543
Ruridecanal Magazine June 1918 'We are sorry to hear that Frank Metson is missing; we hope that news of him will soon come to hand, and that he is alive and well after all. Meanwhile we offer his parents our very sincere sympathy in this trying and anxious time.'
Ruridecanal Magazine October 1918 'Great sympathy is felt with Mr. and Mrs. Harry Metson in the loss of their son Frank. He was reported missing on March 25th, an official intimation has now been received from the War Office that he was killed on that day.'
Frank Arthur Metson was the eldest son of Harry George and Sarah Metson of Finkle Green. He was killed on the Somme battlefield on 25th March, 1918 aged 23years.
Picture and information from Steve Metson
Essex Regiment Private
Fredrick Metson was born in Birdbrook. He enlisted at Warley, Essex into the Essex Regiment and sadly killed in action on 13th June 1915 in France.
Essex Regiment Private
Thomas Metson was born in Birdbrook. He enlisted at Bury St. Edmunds into the Essex Regiment and sadly killed in action on 6th August 1915 at Gallipoli.
Essex Regiment Private
Ruridecanal Magazine June 1917 reported George Mortlock having been wounded with satisfactory reports of progress to recovery.
Ellis Henry Peach
Ruridecala Magazine September 1918 'Private Ellis Peach has been wounded, but we are glad to hear that the wound is not serious.'
George Thomas Peach
Suffolk Regiment No: 34444
Ruridecanal Magazine June 1917 reported George Peach had been wounded.
Ruridecanal Magazine September 1917 'We are glad to hear that George Peach is now making satisfactory progress in hospital.'
Above Photographs show George recovering after being wounded. George is on the left with the stick in the group picture.
We would like to Thank Jean & John Argent and Louise Argent for the information and wonderful photographs.
Ruridecanal Magazine August 1917 'Frederick Plum, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ellis Plum, is now serving in the Navy. He is a stoker.'
Ruridecanal Magazine June 1917 'Montague Plum is ill in hospital with trench fever.'
Royal Horse Artillery Sergeant/Corporal Farrier
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Walter Plum with his horse and seated with Daniel Bacon? Both Walter and Daniel were serving in the Suffolk Regiment before WW1. Pictures from Ray Bradon.
Ruridecanal Magazine August 1916 'Sergeant Walter Plum is seriously ill in hospital, but we are glad to hear that he is making progress.'
Ruridecanal Magazine September 1916 'Walter Plum has been discharged from the Army as medically unfit for active service. While glad to see him home again, we are all sorry to find him looking so ill, and wish him a return of health and strength'
Ruridecanal Magazine October 1916 'Death of Mr. Walter Plum.-Though it was known that Mr. Walter Plum-so well known amongst us as "Soldier Plum," was not likely to live long, the end, which came on Saturday afternoon, August 26th, was not expected quite so quickly. It will always be remembered to his honor that when getting on in years he was one of the first to come forward in Birdbrook to offer himself to his country in the dark days of anxiety at the beginning of the war. He came forward at the recruiting meeting held on September 15th, 1914, and stimulated others to follow his example. He had already been through 21years of service, had fought in South Africa, had received two medals, was a corporal shoeing-smith in the R.H.A., and had retired on a pension, expecting to live out a quiet old age in peaceful Birdbrook. When he rejoined the colours he was promoted to be sergeant. To what extent active service may have hastened his end it is impossible to say-but a few weeks before he died he became hopelessly ill, and was discharged as unfit for further service. Great sympathy is felt with his little boy Walter, and his good friends, the Bacons.'
Buried Birdbrook Cemetery 29th August 1916 aged 54 years.
Ruridecanal Magazine August 1925 reported that the Imperial War Graves Commission had agreed to pay 12/- a year for the upkeep of his grave.
Ruridecanal Magazine April 1917 'Fred Rallings is in hospital with a sprained knee, the result of a fall just after one of the recent advances in France.'
Ruridecanal Magazine January 1918 reported Fred Rallings as having been wounded.
William Ralling Service No: 02883
Army Service Corps/Driver Private
William Ralling was born in 1884 and married Jemima Jane Hannibal on 30th March, 1910. They had two children before the outbreak of war, William Charles Donald, born 19th February, 1911 and John Walter born 17th December, 1912. He enlisted at Colchester on 18th January, 1915, his occupation was described as 'Letter Carrier', presume that is Postman. He had previously served with the 4th Territorial Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.
Medals awarded: British War Medal; Victory Medal.
Ruridecanal Magazine February 1918 'Private W. Ralling has had a narrow escape, two horses being killed under him.'
Machine Gun Corps transfered from 2781 Suffolk Regiment Private
Ruridecanal Magazine October 1917 reported William Rawlings had been killed in action in France on August 26th. Much sympathy is felt by all with his family.
The Machine Gun Corps (MGC) was a corps of the British Army, formed in October 1915 in response to the need for more effective use of machine guns on the Western Front in World War I. The Heavy Branch of the MGC was the first to use tanks in combat, and the branch was subsequently turned into the Tank Corps, later called the Royal Tank Regiment. The MGC was disbanded in 1922.
Ruridecanal Magazine September 1917 'We are sorry to learn that Gunner Arthur Skellon had been wounded and that he was suffering shell shock, but glad to hear that his injuries were not of a serious nature and that he has made a rapid recovery. Gunner Skellon sustained his injuries on August 8th in the Battle of Flanders whilst carring despatches to his battery. He had a marvellous escape, as four high explosive shells burst quite close to him. He was blown into a crater and was struck on the side with a piece of shell casing, which fortunately did not penetrate very deeply. He is now home from the front on ten days leave, and is having a well earned holiday in Scotland with his mother.'
Ruridecanal Magazine November 1917 'Gunner Arthur Skellon was gassed and severely burned about the body on September 27th, soon after returning to the Front after a ten days' at home. He is still in hospital, but we are glad to know that he is getting on all right. We congratulate him on being raised to the rank of Bombadier while in action.'
Ruridecanal Magazine January 1918 'Arthur Skellon is still in hospital in France, being troubled with his old wound.'
Ruridecanal Magazine February 1918 'We heartily congratulate Bombardier Arthur Skellon on being awarded the Military Medal for having extinguished burning ammunition, and for coolness and accuracy in laying his gun, under heavy shell fire, when the rest of the detachment had become casualties. We are sorry to hear that the wound in his leg is giving him trouble again, necessitating his being sent to a base hospital for further treatment.'
Ruridecanal Magazine May 1918 'Bombardier A. Skellon is now out of hospital, and has joined his battery; he has since been gassed but was able to rejoin his battery after attention at the nearest hospital station.'
Ruridecanal Magazine July 1918 'We are sorry to hear that Bombardier A. Skellon, has again been wounded; but glad to know that the wound is not considered serious. He is still at the front and able to walk about.'
Ruridecanal Magazine October 1918 'We are sorry to report that Bombadier A. Skellon is again in hospital, he has been gassed, bruised in the face and cut about the lips, all the effects of a gas shell.'
19th Hussars Trooper
Ruridecanal Magazine July 1917 'Joseph Skellon has joined the Hussars as trooper. We are glad to hear he has already distinguished himself in the regimental sports.'
Ruridecanal Magazine October 1917 'C.K. Smith has been called up again to join the Army; he was discharged on medical grounds eighteen months ago, after having served nearly eighteen months in the Army Veterinary Corps. We are sorry to lose his services as verger and in the choir.'
Charles Richard Stubbings
Ruridecanal Magazine January 1917 'Everyone was pleased to see Charles Stubbings back in Birdbrook on his discharge from hospital. But they were surprised at his speedy summons back to his duties.'
Ruridecanal magazine January 1918 ' Charles Richard Stubbings is in hospital with malaria.'
William Archer Bertram Underwood
Ruridecanal Magazine April 1917 'W.A. Bertram Underwood, of Honex Farm, is now a gunner in the R.N.V.R. He has been in training for some months.'
Alfred Thomas Warren Service No: 286276
Army service Corps Private
Alfred Warren, son of Thomas Warren, was a single man of 26 when he enlisted on 21st January, 1916. Prior to this he worked for Walter French as a steam engine driver, driving steam ploughs and tractors. His service record dated 7.6.1918, shows him being charged with disobeying a section order, 'in that he failed to bathe.' For this offence he forfeited 2 days pay. He was hospitalised with bronchitis and trench fever from 21.12.1918 to 25.1.1919.
Frederick Herbert Warren
Ruridecanal Magazine May 1918 'Frederick Warren has joined the Army Services Corps, Mechanical Transport.'
Ruridecanal Magazine June 1918 'Frederick Warren has been transferred from the Mechanical Transport Section to the Royal Horse Artillery.'
Royal Fusiliers Private
Ruridecanal Magazine January 1917 'We much regret that no further news has been heard of Leonard Warren, he is now posted by the War Office as wounded and missing on October 6th. The last that is known of him is that a friend saw him slightly wounded in the hand making his way to a dressing station.'
Ruridecanal Magazine October 1918 'Another soldier for whom his parents and friends suffered long months of anxiety and suspense was Leonard Warren, it will be recalled that he also was finally reported killed; direct confirmation of the fact has just come to hand from a comrade who actually saw him fall while when already slightly wounded he with a party of others was making his way to a dressing station.'
10th Suffolk Regiment Private
Ruridecanal Magazine November 1918 'The Military Medal for bravery on the field of battle has been awarded to Private Albert Whipps. We heartily congratulate him on this great honour. The award will be regarded with pride by everyone in the parish. We are sorry that the receiver has been wounded, but glad to hear that he is making satisfactory progress in a hospital in Cheshire. party of others was making his way to a dressing station.
Essex Regiment Private
Ruridecanal Magazine March 1916 'We are glad to say that Private Jesse Wiffen has practically recovered of his wound, and all were pleased to see him in Birdbrook on his convalescence leave.'
Ruridecanal magazine June 1917 reported Jesse Wiffen to have been wounded with satisfactory reports of progress to recovery.
Ruridecanal Magazine October 1918 'We are also sorry to report that Pte. J. Wiffen has been wounded in the jaw and the right arm with shrapnel.
Ruridecanal Magazine August 1916 'We are glad to be able to report that Victor Wiffen who has been in hospital is better and is out again.
Ruridecanal Magazine July 1916 'There must be a good many people in Birdbrook who remember Robert Willis who used to live at Finkle Green; he was a sailor on board the Queen Mary and fought and went down in her in the battle of Jutland.'