My research on the Chandler’s Ford War Memorial is progressing well. I have found out quite a lot and thought I would share some of this with you all.
My starting point has been a list complied by Martin Edwards (2006) as part of National project by the Royal British Legion to make a record of all war memorials. This list gives full christian names, number, rank, regiment and also information regarding when and where they were killed. In some cases next of kin are also included.
By using other sources, including census returns, military records, as well as wills and probate records, I have been able to learn more, which has provided a much broader picture of the person behind the name.
Buried at home……
Private John Arthur Raymond Dyke (22097) 2nd Battalion (Deport) Gloucestershire Regiment.
John was born 1898 in Twyford, the eldest son of John and Fanny Dyke. John’s father was at that time a private in the Infantry.
However, when I found the family on the 1911 census, John snr. had left the army. He was working for the GPO as a postman and living in the High St. in Eastleigh. John jr. aged 12, was still at school but working part time as a newsboy. The family had grown and John now had three brothers and two sisters.
In 1915 John enlisted at Brockenhurst and the family had moved to 6 Rose Hill, Chandler’s Ford.
John’s regiment were involved in many offenses in France, Solonika and Egypt. John seems to have had several spells in hospital between September 1916 – March 1917 in the No 7 Red Cross Convalescent Hospital (Sultan’s Montazah Palace) Alexandra.
It would appear both as a result of injury and illness. John must have fought bravely as he is reported as ‘Mentioned in Despatches.’ John died in Bermondsey Military Hospital, Ladywell, Lewisham, on February 14th 1919, aged 20.
Like many of his comrades John was encouraged to make a will and his is one of those which survives. It simple says, ‘In the event of my death I leave all my property to my mother.’ It is dated 12/8/15.
John is buried in Pine Road Cemetery. At this time his parents were living at 35 Fryern Hill, Chandler’s Ford. Was his Dad still a postman? I hope so!
Private John Dyke’s headstone bears the words:
“Love’s greatest gift – remembrance”
Another burial in Pine Road Cemetery is that of:
Ordinary Seaman William Henry Kelsey, (ZA/9431) RN Deport (Crystal Palace) Royal Navel Volunteer Reserve.
William was born 24th June 1900, the second child, and only son of William and Margaret Kelsey in Lymington where William snr. was a police officer. William had an older sister Gladys.
Some time before 1916, the family moved to Chandler’s Ford when PC Kelsey became the local constable. The Kelsey family lived in the police house, 5, York Villas, Southampton Road.
William joined the reserves in 1917; he was stationed at Crystal Palace. He died from ‘disease’ on 8th October 1918, aged 18.
PC Kelsey and his remaining family moved to Havant in the early 1920s.
Ordinary seaman William Kelsey’s headstone bears the inscription:
“Sleep on dear lad and take thy rest
God called thee home he thought it best”
Can you help?
I have already spoken with Barbara Hillier, the great niece of Wilfred Hillier, but are there any other living relatives out there happy to share their family memories? Does anyone have any photos or information relating to Chandler’s Ford during and after WW1? If so, I would love to hear from you.
Please contact Margaret Doores
Telephone: 023 8025 3778
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