|1||Pte. Lewis Albert Excell||51||George Davison & Rifleman Almer Allsworth Davison|
|7||Pte. Albert Edward Croucher||57|
|8||Pte. Harry Barling||58|
|18||Pte. Frederick Mint||68|
|19||Pte. Frederick James Haig||69|
|22||Pte. Frederick William Linnell||72|
|25||Pte. Fred Taylor||75||Cpl. Charles Edward Eden|
|26||Pte. Bertie Mower||76||George Leslie Meadus, Arthur Sydney Gibbs & Sydney Thomas Gibbs|
|28||Pte. Frederick William Johnson||78|
|32||Pte. Charles Behan||82|
|50||Sgt. Walter Edmund Jordan||100||Pte. John William Holman|
Private Lewis Albert Excell
Service Number: 11473, 10th Bn. Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
Private Albert Edward Croucher
Service Number: 23485, 1st Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Albert was born in the summer of 1897 in Hollingbourne, his parents were John and Rosa Croucher. There were six children, all boys, in what must have been a lively household, Albert was the second youngest. The census of 1911 has the family living in Roseacre with dad and three of his sons working as farm labourers.
Albert enlisted in Maidstone in January 1916 and eventually became 23485 Private A. E. Croucher of the 1st Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
At the outbreak of war the 1st Battalion Ox & Bucks L. I. were stationed in India. In November 1914 they sailed from there to Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) and remained in that theatre of war for the duration.
In 1915 the British advance against the Turks seemed unstoppable but later that same year fortunes turned in favour of the enemy. The initial successes being turned into defeat at the Battle of Ctesiphon. The army of which the 1st Ox & Bucks were part retreated to the City of Kut, where a garrison made up of British and Indian troops kept the Turks at bay. With food supplies running short and the attempt to relieve Kut having failed by April 1916 the garrison of 8,000 were forced to surrender. It is estimated that 5,000 of these prisoners died in captivity.
Back at home in January 1916 a provisional force was formed which was to eventually become the new 1st Battalion Ox & Bucks Light Infantry. Albert joined this group and in May 1916 they all set sail for Mesopotamia. A considerable force of 150,000 troops assembled determined to avenge the humiliating surrender of April. The new Ox & Bucks were part of this force.
On the night of the 13th/14th of December 1916 the British attacked, progress was slow on account of heavy rain. It took a full two months with efforts to minimise casualties a high priority. By 27th February 1917 Kut had been recaptured and progress was being made towards Baghdad.
The British/lndian Army pushed the Turks back, entering Baghdad after the Turkish Army withdrew from the city.
Many battles followed with steady progress being made, and then on the 30th October 1918 the Turks signed an armistice and the war in the Middle East ended. Albert was not there.
Somewhere and at some time during this tumultuous period Albert became sick, he died in hospital in Baghdad on Monday the 18th March, probably of cholera, he is buried in grave ll. B. 6 at the Baghdad (North Gate) Cemetery Iraq. Pictured left is the official record of Albert's Victory Medal.
The troops suffered tremendously with flooding, flies, mosquitoes and other vermin, all in extreme temperatures. 11,012 were killed, 3,985 died of wounds, 12,678 died of sickness, 13,492 were missing or taken prisoner, and 51,836* were wounded.
*Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire (London HMSO 1920).
Private Harry Barling
Service Number: 11174, 19th (Queen Alexandra's Own Royal) Hussars
Private Frederick Mint
Service Number: G80406, Middlesex Regiment
Private Frederick James Haig
Service Number: 3845, 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards
James Haig (born 23rd December 1866) was the Game Keeper and Elisabeth Joslin (born 22nd October 1870) was the Cook, at Gosford House in the Parish of Aberlady, County of Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland.
They married on 20th June 1897 and lived in Harestane Cottage, which was on the Golf Course and part of the Gosford House Estate. The cottage, now part of Craigielaw Golf Club is where Fred and his younger sister Molly (Mary Elisabeth Haig, born 27th May 1901) were born and raised.
The family then moved to Windmill Farm, Frant, near Tonbridge Wells which was owned by the Joslin family. It was here that Fred’s youngest sister Kathleen Edith Haig was born 6th February 1915.
Age 15 Fred tried to join the army only for his dad James to fetch him home. He did however join up aged 18 and at 19 he was killed at Cambrai on 1st December 1917. His body was never found and he is “Remembered with Honour” on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval.
Remembered by a family he never knew
Private Frederick William Linnell
Service Number: 43210, 9th Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers
Frederick William Linnell was born in Sawley, Derbyshire in 1895, to Alfred and Catherine. He had six siblings, all sisters. Fred was a private in the Royal Irish Fusiliers and was killed at Ypres on 16th August, 1917, aged 22 years and is buried in the New Irish Cemetery in Ypres. This memorial is sponsored by Martin, Allan and Richard Smedley, whose grandmother, Gertrude Julia, was one of Fred's sisters.
Private Fred Taylor
Service Number: 34733, 8th Bn. North Staffordshire regimentNorth Staffordshire regimentN North Staffordshire Regiment
My great-uncle, Fred Taylor, was born in East Peckham in 1897, the second youngest of 13. His father, Alfred, worked for Walter Arnold who ran an engineering and milling company and the family lived on site at Bran Bridge Mill.
Fred is shown on the 1911 census, aged 14, working in a billiard ball factory. Papers show that, like many men at the outset of war, Fred was not old enough to join up but lied about his age as he was 17yrs. He joined the North Staffordshire Regiment, service no 34733, 8th bn.
The family photograph (Far left), taken in 1901, shows Fred seated on the grass, front right, aged about 5 with his parents and their 13 children.
The second photograph (Left) shows the Arnold Works with some of the Taylor boys on and around the traction engine with their father.
Fred was killed on 24 March 1918 on the first day of the second battle of Babaume. The regimental diaries for that day describe being forced back by advancing German troops and that not all the men made it out. Fred was reported missing, died of wounds and has no known grave.
Private Bertie Mower
Service Number: 8851, 1st Bn. Suffolk Regiment
Private Frederick William Johnson
Service Number: G49236, 2nd Battalion The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment
Private Charles Behan
Service Number: 63549, 196th Company, Machine Gun Corps
Serjeant Walter Edmund Jordan
Service Number: G/19033, 10th Bn., Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Horace Jordan, of 5, Albion Place, Newington, Sittingbourne; husband of Edith Gertrude Jordan, of Malt
Cottage, Hollingbourne, Maidstone. His brother Frederick William Jordan also fell.
Rifleman Almer Allsworth Davison
Service Number: S/48484, Rifle Brigade, posted to 1st/28th Bn. London Regiment (Artists' Rifles)
George Davison (1884 - 1951)
Corporal Charles Edward Eden
Service Number: 2189, 7th Battalion Queens Royal West Surrey
George Leslie Meadus, 1896 – 1916, Hampshire Regiment
Arthur Sydney Gibbs, 1894 – 1916, Connaught Rangers
Sydney Thomas Gibbs, 1896 - 1916, Dorset Regiment
Private John William Holman
Service Number: 18710, 1st Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment
Husband of Carrie Holman, of 7, Mead Plat, Willesden, London.