Winchelsea war memorial
The War Memorial is sited in the northwest corner of the churchyard.
The fallen of World War One
Archibald Leonard Baldwin In fact, the name was probably Balding (and this name has been added, without initials, under the original list of names from Winchelsea on the memorial tablets at the Rye and Winchelsea Memorial Care Centre, and is on the 1914-18 Roll of Honour in the Court Hall). Archibald (Archie) Leonard Balding. Private 28186, 1/4th Battalion, The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment). Born in Belvedere, Kent, in 1899, son of Joseph and Harriet Balding of South Lodge, Dorchester. Lodged with Charles and May Gain of Ferry House, Winchelsea. Enlisted at Newbury. Died of wounds at St Omer on 19 April 1918, aged 19. Buried in Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery at St Omer (F134).
William Percy Freeman Private G/2096, 8th Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment, 18th Division. Born in Winchelsea. Enlisted at Rye. Killed in action at Montauban on 1st July 1916. Commemorated on The Thiepval Monument (MR21).
Robert Griffin Private TF/1103, 1/5th Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment, 1st Division. Born in Winchelsea, son of James and Fanny Griffin of 3 North Street, Winchelsea (now part of Cobblers). Enlisted at Rye. Killed in action at Richbourg L'Avoue on 9th May 1915, aged 21. Buried in Rue des Barceaux Military Cemetery (F632).
Henry Patch Captain, Royal Flying Corps. Formerly, with the South Lancashire Regiment. Son of Henry and Hero Elizabeth Patch of Winchelsea. Killed in action on 19th October 1917, aged 23. Buried in Harlebeke New British Cemetery in Belgium.
Noel James Stanway Patch Private 2699, The Australian Infantry, 47th Battalion, 12th Brigade, 4th Australian Division. Born in Wrentham, Suffolk, son of Henry and Hero Elizabeth Patch of Winchelsea. Killed in action at Passchendaele on 13th October 1917, aged 46. Buried in Passchendaele New British Cemetery in Belgium (B123). The name is included in the list of World War I names from Winchelsea on the memorial tablets at the Rye and Winchelsea Memorial Care Centre, and under the World War II names, with 1917 added in brackets alongside.
Frederick George Weeks Penny Private TF/252163, 1st Battalion, The Essex Regiment, 37th Division. Son of Henry and Ada Penny of 'Rhosigar', North Street, Winchelsea. Born in Fairlight in 1897. Enlisted in Hastings. Died of wounds at Rouen on 5th September 1918, aged 20. Buried in St Sever Cemetery Extension (F146).
George James Snashall Private G/13643, 6th Battalion, The East Kent Regiment, 12th Division. Born in Horsmonden, Kent. Son of Willliam and Susannah Snashall of 3 Strand Terrace, Winchelsea. Enlisted in Cranbrook, Kent. Killed in action at Arras on 6th May 1917. Commemorated on The Arras Memorial (MR20). On the War Memorial as George T Snashall.
Norman Streeton Gunner no. 72728, 31st Battery, 35th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, 7th Division. Born in Hastings in 1894. Lived in the Salutation Inn. Enlisted in Maidstone, Kent. Killed in action at Ypres on 13th October 1917, aged 23. Buried in Hooge Crater Cemetery at Zillebeke in Belgium (B112).
Edward Watson No information (see panel). The name is also not included on the 1914-18 Roll of Honour in the Court Hall. He may have had three sisters, Bertha Maud (1992-1970), Ethel (1894-1968) and Beatrice (1896-1981), who lived in Pipewell Cottages, or be related to Mary Teresa Watson (1927-1982), who lived Maryland, Harbour Farm Road. (Thanks for this information to Gillian Alexander.)
Basil Lees Inderwick Private 46847, 17th Battalion, The Canadian Infantry. Son of Charles and Ella Inderwick of Perth, Canada. Died of meningitis on 24th January 1915, aged 28. Buried in Winchelsea (southwest corner of churchyard).
The fallen of World War Two
Donald Eric Alford
Sergeant, 1393222, Air Bomber, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Joined the RAFVR in 1941. Died in action on 24 May 1943, aged 20. Buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery in Germany (3C18).
Born on 1 April 1923, son of Walter Leonard and Elizabeth Anna Alford of Winchelsea, and one of seven children, six sons and a daughter - Charles, Geoffrey, Henry, Leonard, Philip and Sylvia. Lived at the Ferry House in Station Road, where Donald's father had a farm. After leaving school, he worked for three years at solicitors Dawson and Prentice in Rye. Four of Donald's brothers also served in the forces during the war. Leonard and Philip joined the RAF, Henry joined the army, Charles enlisted but suffered from ill health. Geoffrey served in the Navy after the War. Sylvia was a Land Girl.
The Alford brothers at home in Winchelsea on leave: Henry and Leonard (top row), Donald and Philip (bottom row). This was the first and last time these brothers were all on leave together.
Donald did his training in North America and had the opportunity to stay on as an instructor, but chose to return home. He was assigned to 214 Squadron at Chedburgh in Suffolk, part of 3 Group of Bomber Command. 214 Squadron flew some of the bloodiest missions of the war against naval, industrial and other targets in Europe. His plane was a Stirling bomber, MZ261. At 23:15 on 23 May 1943, MZ261, coded BU-T, took off on night operations for a raid on Dortmund. Next day, it crashed at Unna, about 15km ENE of Dortmund. The crew were initially buried in the Haupftfriedhof (Am Gottesacker) at Unna and included Sgt Lionel Martin, Sgt Frederick James North, Sgt Victor Harry Archer, Sgt John Dodd, FS John Joseph Egan and Fg/Off Peter Harold Liddle. (With thanks for this information to Donald's family.)
George W Cook
Sergeant, 36801, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died in September 1943 and is buried in Winchelsea churchyard. George had fought in the First World War in the Royal Sussex Regiment and in the Royal Flying Corps. He was called up again in August 1939.
George Cook (second from the left) in the RFC in 1916
George was born in Derwent Cottage (now Haskards) in Winchelsea on 5 March 1889 and at the outbreak of the Second World War was living with his family at Rookery Cottage and working as the estate carpenter at Wickham Manor. George died at home of a heart attack, aged 54, and is buried in Winchelsea churchyard (southwest corner). (With thanks for this information to Mrs Watson and Mrs Gurney, George's daughters.)
Robert Henry Jenkins Private, 5504255, 2/4th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. Son of Robert Henry and Edith Jenkins of Rye Marsh Farm, Winchelsea. Married to Margaret Edith Jenkins of Northiam. Died on 8 April 1943, aged 23, near Tunis, in the final phase of the war in North Africa. Buried in Enfidaville War Cemetery in Tunisia.
Harry Willeard Son of Tom Willeard, the local postman, and uncle of Bob Collins. Private, Queens Royal Regiment. Badly burned at Tobruk. Disappeared in May 1943 on patrol with two native scouts, who may have killed him. Left a young wife and daughter of three.
(from a postcard in Winchelsea Museum)
Names not on the Memorial
Stanley Breeds Royal Navy or RNVR. Born in 1908, one of the five sons of William and Lily Breeds of 1 Tanyard Cottages in Winchelsea. On the 1939-45 Roll of Honour in the Court Hall and on a prayer card published during the war listing Winchelsea men in the forces.
Sydney Edward Fleet Private 43996, The Machine Gun Corp (Infantry). Born in Winchelsea. Son of Arthur and Elizabeth Martha Fleet. Husband of Ethel Louisa Fleet of Myrtle Cottage, Pett. Died at home on 30th April 1920, aged 23. Buried at St Peter and St Mary's Church in Pett. Commemorated on the Pett War Memorial, along with his step-brother, Arthur James Fleet, who was killed in action near Zillebeke in Belgium on 7th November 1917, aged 21.
Herbert Harry Lawrence Private 27400, 6th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry, 14th Light Division. Born in Winchelsea. Son of David and Matilda Lawrence of Winchelsea. Husband of Hilda Lilian Lawrence of 14 Mermaid Street, Rye. Enlisted in Rye. Killed in action at Arras on 9th April 1917, aged 36. Buried in Tigris Lane Cemetery, Wancourt in Belgium. Commemorated on the Rye War Memorial.
Ruth Longstaff Civilian. Pax, Mill Road. Killed by machine-gun fire from an enemy plane at about 8:30am on 6 December 1942. Buried in Winchelsea churchyard (A361), with her husband, John.
Ronald McDonald. His name is on the Rolls of Honour in the Court Hall, which includes names from both Winchelsea and Winchelsea Beach, and is marked with a cross to indicate that he died in the War. However, Ronald actually died in an accident at Norwich on 18 November 1950. He was serving on SS Activity at the time, so he may have been in the Merchant Navy during the War. Before the War, he lived in Winchelsea Beach ("Maxholme" in Sea Road) with his parents and sister, Eileen. (With thanks to Maxine Clitherow, Ronald's daughter).
Terence Montague Staff Sergeant 6405541, Glider Pilots Regiment, Army Air Corps. Name is on the Rolls of Honour in the Court Hall. He lived in Winchelsea Beach from 1927 until the family was evacuated to Rye in about 1940. Married. Died on 14 July 1942, aged 21. Buried at Catania in Sicily. Commemorated on the Rye War Memorial, on the memorial tablets at the Rye and Winchelsea Memorial Care Centre (under Rye) and on the 1939-45 Roll of Honour in the Court Hall, which records names from both Winchelsea and Winchelsea Beach. (With thanks for this information to Mrs Lane, Terence's sister.)
Violet Morris Civilian. Salutation Cottages, Winchelsea. Killed by a bomb on 13 January 1943, aged 37. Her baby son and daughter survived the attack. Buried in the churchyard in Winchelsea (northeast corner).
Sydney Martin Pearce Major, Royal Air Force. Formerly of 4th Battalion, Leicesters. Born in Leicester on 6th December 1890. The youngest son of Edwin James and Laura Theodore Pearce of Glebe Lodge, Heaton Moor, Stockport, Lancashire. Died of pneumonia on 6th December 1918, aged 28. Buried in the churchyard in Winchelsea (A445). His parents were buried with him.
Thomas (Tom) Walter Tiltman Able Seaman Higher Grade Z/438, Howe Battalion, 63rd Royal Naval Division, but had initially been drafted to the BEF as a Signaller. Born on 9 April 1890. Enlisted on 30 October 1915. He had been a postman, and lived with his brother (Edwin John) at Garden Cottage (on the site of Waterman's Cottage, Hiham Gardens) in Winchelsea, having moved from Fishmarket Road in Rye. He was the great uncle of Hugh and Jimper Sutton. Killed in action at Arras on 24 April 1917, aged 27. Commemorated on the Arras Memorial (MR20), on the Rye War Memorial (as W T Tiltman), on the memorial tablets at the Rye and Winchelsea Memorial Care Centre (under Rye) and on the 1914-18 Roll of Honour in the Court Hall.
A Royal Marine of the Great War from HMS Ariadne An unidentified Royal Marine, whose body was washed ashore in August 1917 from the cruiser minelayer HMS Ariadne, which was torpedoed by a submarine off Beachy Head on 27 June 1917. He is buried in the southwest corner of the churchyard. Doubts have been expressed about the origin of the body (the two marines on HMS Ariadne are reportedly buried elsewhere).
The history of the war memorial
The decision to erect a memorial was taken at a public meeting in Winchelsea on 24 January 1919, organised by an ad hoc committee under churchwarden, Mr Charles Campion, and was funded by public subscription. It was dedicated on 7 November 1920 by the Earl Beauchamp, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.
A brief history of the Great War Memorials
On 27 May 1917, the great architect Edwin Lutyens wrote to Fabian Ware, head of the Imperial War Graves Commission (forerunner of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission), which had been formed the very same month, with ideas on how the war dead should be commemorated. "On platforms made of not less than three steps...place one great stone of fine proportions 12 feet long and finely wrot - without undue ornament and tricky and elaborate carvings and inscribe thereon one thought in clear letters so that all men for all times may read and know the reason why these stones are placed throughout France - facing the West and facing the men who lie looking ever eastwards towards the enemy. After this you can plant to desire and erect cloisters - chapels - crosses buildings of as many varieties as to suit the always varying sites. Every grave enclosure should be made for permanence and to have one permanent building wherein a roll of honour may be kept indelible."
Ware invited Lutyens to accompany him on a tour of the battlefields, along with architect Herbert Baker and Kew Garden's Arthur Hill. They made a series of recommendations, broadly in line with Lutyens' proposals. However, the proposed design of the gravestone triggered a fierce national debate about the extent to which individual graves should reflect religious symbolism. The IWGC had designed the now-familair standard non-denominational headstone, for aesthetic reasons and to reflect the equality of death. To respect the religion of the majority of the dead, each cemetery was to contain a cross.
The IWGC's design of gravestone was vociferously opposed by a group led by Earl Balfour and the wife of the Bishop of Exeter. The matter was decided in favour of the IWGC after a passionate debate in Parliament in May 1920. Three prototype cemeteries were unveiled later that year and received widespread public acclaim.
The IWGC then began its task in earnest under the architectural guidance of Lutyens and Baker, who were joined by Sir Reginald Blomfield and Charles Holden. Cemeteries were built for more than one million men of the Empire who had died in Europe and around the world, within 15 years and within the budget of ï¿½8 million.
Bodies remained where they were buried, so the distribution of the cemeteries maps the geography of the conflict. It also means that the size of cemetaries varies enormously, from a few bodies originally buried as an expedient in a shell hole, to huge layouts located at hospitals and casualty clearing stations well behind the front line.
Lutyens' "great stone" (now known as the "stone of remembrance") was designed with entasis to correct optical distortion and carved with words chosen by Kipling from the Book of Ecclesiasticus, "Their name liveth for evermore".
Common to all cementeries was the "cross of sacrifice" designed by Blomfield, and the planting, under Hill's guidance, redolent of an English garden and strongly influenced by Gertrude Jekyll, Lutyen's famous collaborator. Blomfield allowed his cross to be varied to match the size of the cemetery, but Lutyens refused to alter his stone, with the result that it had to be omitted from smaller cemeteries. The architects were allowed free rein in design on the modest shelters built in each cemetary. These consequently range in design from classicism to modernism.
To commemorate those without graves, the IWGC commissioned "memorials to the missing", of which Blomfield's Menin Gate at Ypres is the most famous. Lutyens designed the memorial for the missing of the Somme at Thiepval. Lutyens also designed the Cenotaph (Greek for "empty tomb") at Whitehall. This started as a temporary saluting point of wood and plaster made for the peace procession in London in June 1919 to mark the formal end of the war. In response to public appeals, it was rebuilt in permanent form in Portland stone and unveiled on 11 November 1920.
Two ceremonies take place:
Remembrance Day on 11th November. A two-minute silence is observed at 11:00am. The start and end are marked by maroons. This ceremony was reintroduced by Sqn-Ldr David Bourne after VE Day in 1995.
Remembrance Sunday . There is a wreath-laying ceremony at the War Memorial. Those who wish may attend a church service afterwards.
Can you help?
We should be grateful for any information on the names listed on the War Memorial at Winchelsea, on the Rolls of Honour in the Court Hall, or buried in the churchyard of St Thomas. In particular, we need information on Edward Watson and Anthony Stuart. Additional information on all the other names would also be welcome. Photographs would be especially welcome. Please contact us.
Many thanks to Gillian Alexander and Malcolm Pratt for their research and assistance.
The application by ward councillors for Winchelsea to have the War Memorial listed was granted by English Heritage on 29 January 2010. It now has special statutory protection. The Memorial has a Grade II listing and its listing number is 507561. Hopefully, the repairs which are needed to the memorial will now be organised by the Church, who have taken responsibility for the memorial.
Rolls of Honour in the Court Hall at WinchelseaWorld War I
Archie Balding +
Victor F. Boley
Herbert D Cooke
James G Coleman
Thomas A Field
Percy Freeman +
Robert Griffin +
Thomas A Neeves
John H Johnson
A G F Osman
C T F Osman
Henry Patch +
Noel Patch +
Frederick G Penny +
William J Polhill
Albert A Neeves
George Snashall +
Norman Streeton +
Thomas Tiltman +
John W A Woolley
Nelson A Thorpe
World War II
Donald Alford +
Stanley Breeds +
George Cook +
Robert Jenkins +
Ronald McDonald +
Terence Montague +
Anthony Stuart +
Harry Willeard +
Plaque in St Thomas's Church at Winchelsea
War Memorial Plaque in Winchelsea Methodist Chapel1914-18
Donald E Alford
Robert H Jenkins
Thomas H Willeard
Memorial in the Rye (and Winchelsea) Memorial Care CentreWorld War I
Balding (added at bottom)
World War II
Streeton N (1917)
Names of Winchelsea servicemen on wartime prayer card
Useful linksCommonwealth War Graves Commission
Roll of Honour
Royal British Legion
War Memorials Trust