THE  DOVER WAR MEMORIAL  PROJECT

 

war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

 

World War I

 

CIVILIANS

Surnames A to M

B

G Boorman, courtesy Dover ExpressBoorman, G. E. M.
Gertrude Evelyn Mavis Boorman was 13 when she was killed in the early hours of 16 February1918. Just after midnight there was loud gunfire with falling bricks and slates. The assault lasted barely three minutes. A No 4 Cowgate Hill, by Simon Chamberssubmarine, according to official reports, but a destroyer according to witnesses outside the breakwater, had been firing shells at the town. Some sixteen or seventeen had struck houses and buildings but mainly unoccupied portions.

The exception was the Boormans' home at number 4 on Cowgate Hill. Four children had gone to bed at ten o'clock in the evening and been asleep at the top of the house. Their step-father was a stoker on the King George V. Their mother, Mrs Ellen Surrell, wakened by gunfire, ran upstairs to fetch the children. She took Sydney out of bed calling to the others to come. They got out of bed and as their mother reached the door of the room there was a loud crash. A shell had gone through the neighbouring house, blown down the wall between the houses, and burst in their room

The children were rushed to hospital. Gertrude was so seriously injured that she died shortly after arriving. She is buried at St Mary's in the same grave as her previously deceased father and very many floral tributes were sent, including those from her friends and schoolfellows

William, two years older, had a badly damaged leg and shrapnel in his body. It was feared he would lose his leg, and eventually he did. The other two children, Amelia, 11 years old, and Sydney, 9, were injured less badly   

William Amelia Sydney
Albert Henry

Two sons of the family were away serving, Henry in a labour battalion and Albert on a hospital transport

Gertrude was one of the casualties remembered in the Service of Remembrance for Civilians - November 2007

Note: No 4 is the central house next to the cream one in the image above right. A disjointed roof line presumably a result of the shell damage can clearly be seen. The occupants of No 3 were in the room when the shell burst through but only one Mr F C Shovelier, sustained slight injuries. He is believed to be the father-in-law of Donald Scott

Gertrude Boorman's grave, by Joyce Banks

picture and transcription with thanks to Joyce Banks

Gertrude's grave is in the lower area of St Mary's. The words on the base of the cross read:

"Girlie"
In Loving Memory of
our darling
Gertrude E. M. Boorman.
Born 25 October 1904,
Killed 16 February 1918
By German Submarine Bombardment
Loved By All
 
Also William Boorman
Father of the above,
Died 2nd May 1910
Aged 38 years.
 

Cowgate Hill. The road leads to the old cemetery nestling beneath the Napoleonic fortifications of the Western Heights. Gertrude's home is on the right in the middle of the block

1919 - In loving memory of our darling (Girlie) Gertrude E M Boorman who was killed in submarine bombardment February 15-16 1918 aged 13½ years

Could I have raised her dying head,
Or heard her last farewell,
The pain would not have been so hard,
For I who loved her so well.
We do not forget her, we loved her too dearly
For her memory to pass from our life like a dream.
The lips need not speak when the heart mourns sincerely,
And tears often flow where they seldom are seen

From sorrowing Mum, Dad, Brothers, and Sister
 

1919 - In ever loving remembrance of my dear sister, Gertrude, Evelyn Mavis Boorman, who was killed by enemy bombardment, February 16 1918. Gone, but not forgotten by her sorrowing brother, Harry

 


in memoriam, 1940
 

In memoriam notice from February 1940
In ever loving memory of (Girlie) Gertrude E M Boorman killed in German bombardment, February 16 1918. Always remembered - Dad, Mum, Brothers and Sisters

in February 1943 the in memoriam notice was from "Mum Brothers and Sisters (Peterborough)"

In 1920, on 19 August, Mr and Mrs Surrell had a baby girl whom they named Evelyn. The family moved to London six years later in search of work and after a further six years to Peterborough. Mr Surrell died in 1941 and Mrs Surrell, Gertrude's mother, died in 1952.

*

Notes: In 1911 the Boorman family were living at 8 Chapel Place.  Ellen Sarah Philpott had married William Edwin S(later?)  Boorman in Dover in 1898. In 1911 Mrs Boorman, widowed,  was 34  and was working as a charwoman. With her was her brother, Edward Philpott, 28, who was working as a barman. The children then were Henry G, 12, Albert W, 10, William C, 8, Gertrude, 6, Amelia C, 4, and Sydney, 2. In March 1914 Henry lost an eye in an electrical explosion at the jeweller's where he was working.  In 1913 William accidentally scalded himself badly after tripping over a fender and bringing a saucepan of boiling water upon himself.  4 Cowgate Hill was also the home in 1911 of  Albert Willson and of George Saunders in 1901

 

C

Clubb, S. H.
Sydney Herbert Clubb was a victim of the Great Munitions Explosion at Faversham on 2 April 1916.

Born in March 1882, he was the son of James Clubb and Nora, his wife, née Connell.

In 1908 he married in Dover Frances Louisa Holman, and they had three daughters, Mabel, Nora, and Kathleen. In 1915 the family were living at 138 Union Road, Dover

left: his name on the mass grave at Faversham. Mr Clubb was one of the casualties whose remains could not be identified, therefore he was accounted for by virtue of being subsequently missing.

 

Ernest Legg, Sidney Holbourn, below, and George Robus were other casualties; the list is here

 

The mass grave at Faversham is covered with daffodils in the spring

 

F

Fitzsimons, J. B.
John Bernard Fitzsimons (known in the family as Bernard) was born on 16 June 1896 in Gravesend to John George and Margaret Fitzsimons.

Bernard attended Dover County School from 1909-1911. He probably took part in a tug-of-war event at the school in 1911, his team losing in the final.

A street index gives their address for 1909-1910 as 11 Crabble Hill Villas. In 1911 the family are recorded at Rosendale, Lower Road, River, Dover, with Mr John George Fitzsimons working as a preventive officer for HM Customs and Excise. He had been born in Liverpool, and his wife Margaret in Buckinghamshire. Bernard was then 14, and his brother, Gerald, also born in Gravesend, was 13. 

The family then moved to Ilford and Bernard went to work for the Port of London Authority. As a boy, Bernard was interested in model aeroplanes, so it was no surprise when he obtained his Aviator's Certificate on 9 August 1915 at the Ruffy-Baumann School at Hendon, flying a Caudron Biplane.

Having obtained his Aviatorís Certificate, Bernard immediately joined the Royal Flying Corps and was quickly confirmed in the rank of Second Lieutenant. He was posted to the Expeditionary Force in France on 27 January 1916, serving with 32 Squadron, 16 Squadron, and finally 1 Squadron. However, Bernard had an accident on 1 August 1916 and had to resign his commission.

Nevertheless, Bernard was soon flying again, when he took up test flying of new aircraft. On 26 March 1917, he was testing a new type of single-seat biplane - the Nestler Scout - at Hendon. Unfortunately, there was a very high wind that day, and the fabric was stripped off the wings. The aircraft dived through the roof of a hangar below and was completely wrecked. Though none of the men in the hangar were injured, Bernard was killed.

An inquest was held at Hendon two days later, when a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.

John Bernard Fitzsimons had been living at 83 Endsleigh Gardens, Ilford, when he died. He was buried at the City of London cemetery on 30 March 1917, plot 222 grave 85594. The headstone reads:

In Loving Memory
Of
John Bernard
The Beloved Son Of
-
J G and M Fitzsimons
Aged 20 Years
Killed Whilst Testing A New Aeroplane
At The Hendon Aerodrome On 26th March 1917
After Having Served In France For 6 Months
As Sec. Lieut. In The R.F.C.
-
Also John George Father Of The Above
Who Passed Away 27th Dec'r 1941 Aged 68 Years
Also Margaret Loving Wife And Mother
Who Passed Away 22nd March 1948
Aged 73 Years

with thanks to Andrew Dawrant

© Royal Aero Club Trust
For further information please contact the Trust through their website

 

G

Gould, J.
Mrs Jane Gould was born at Buckland, Dover. In 1911 she lived at 3 Crabble Hill in 1911, and later at 77 Crabble Hill and was bedridden. She was shocked and injured during a raid on 24 September 1917 which killed her neighbours the Kenwards.  She was taken to hospital and later to the home of her granddaughter at Glen Lyn, Maxton. She died there at the age of 86 on 16 October

She was buried at Buckland, D 24, with Mrs Scott, her daughter, and Mr Head, her son, following. There were no flowers by request 

 

Hall family, courtesy Dover ExpressHall, F. A.
Francis Amos Hall died during an air raid on 19 March 1916, aged seven years and eleven months.

He lived at 23 Winchelsea Street, Dover, and had been on his way to Sunday school (he is named on the Salem Baptist church memorial). When the raid began he ran as quickly as he could back to his home;  his mother hearing the planes rushed out to find him. She saw a bomb strike close to her youngest son. A gentleman ran to help but the lad was terribly injured. A witness stated that his "eyes seemed to move once" and then he died. He was sent in a car with Miss Stoker, another victim, to the hospital

His father was a railway guard and had just left Dover on the London train. He could not be informed of the tragedy until his train reached London.  He had the distressing experience of having his dead son sent out again from the hospital before he could claim him, the blood unwashed from his face as the hospital staff were overwhelmed by casualties from the raid.  Later he expressed his gratitude to the many people who had sheltered and comforted his wife "as best they could" until his return.

Francis Hall was buried at Charlton, YQ 13 on Monday 27 March 1916.  Rev C S M Playfair officiated and amongst the mourners were his parents his brother Frederick William Hall and his sisters Mabel Winifred and Lillie (Lillian Beatrice). Mr Smith, the headmaster of St Martin's school, was also present.

Francis Hall, headstone, by Joyce BanksThe headstone on the grave reads:

In Loving Memory
of
Francis Amos Hall
met death by enemy air craft
19 March 1916
aged 8 years
"Gone to Rest"

Also
George Frederick Hall
died 29 February 1944
aged 74 years
RIP 

Also his wife
Elizabeth Dora Hall
died 11 July 1966 
aged 94 years

Floral tributes laid when he was buried included:
"To darling Tiddles, from his broken-hearted Mum and Dad"
"To darling baby Tiddles, from his loving brother and sorrowing sisters"

*

In Memoriam

.Hall - In ever loving memory of our youngest child, who met his death on March 19 1916 aged 8 years

Three years have passed, and none can tell
The loss of him we loved so well:
Forget him? No, we never will,
As years roll on we'll love him still 

From his loving Mum, Dad, Sisters and brother Fred                              March 1919

 

picture of grave and transcriptions with thanks to Joyce Banks

We Remember 4

Hall, W. H.
William Henry Hall was one of the casualties of the Folkestone air raid on 25 May 1917 when 72 people were killed

He was born in Dover around 1853, and married Isabelle Lewis there in 1879. He traded as a butcher in Folkestone

He is buried at Cheriton cemetery, Folkestone, 1705 (c) in the picture his grave is beside the cross in the background.

The words on his headstone read:

In
loving memory
of
William Henry Hall
who died on May 27 1917
from injuries received during the
German air raid on Folkestone
on May 25 1917. Aged 64 years
Peace perfect peace with loved ones far away
In Jesus keeping we are safe and they

Also of Isabelle wife of the above
who died on the 2 March 1930
Aged 75 years
Forever with the Lord
 

The plaque, below, is situated in Tontine Street

Holbourn, S. W.
coffins, from collecition of M S-KSidney William Holbourn was born in Dover in 1877. In 1881 he was living with his parents Edward a carpenter and Harriet at 8 St Catherine's Place, Charlton, Dover. They then had five children, Ernest, Emily, Frank, Sidney himself, and Percy, who was then six months old. By 1901 the family was at 20 Granville Street and an older daughter Hilda was with them. Sidney was by then a bricklayer  In 1916 Sidney's parents were living at 24 Granville Street, Dover

Sidney was one of over a hundred people killed in the great explosion at the Faversham munitions factory on 2 April 1916. He is buried with many other casualties in a mass grave at Faversham Borough Cemetery. the service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury on 6 April 1916, and a long procession followed from the town to the cemetery.

His mother from 24 Granville Street, Charlton, requested that his name should be included on the Town mass graveMemorial but her request was refused as her son had never been on active service.  However Kitchener Secretary of State for War had in 1914 written to the Cotton Powder Company which worked the Uplees site that the workforce were "carrying out the great work of supplying munitions of war" and so were "doing their duty for their King and Country equally with those who have joined the Army for active service in the field"

In the centre of the grave is a large cross. At the base are the words "Sacred to the memory of the men who died in the service of their country 2 April 1916. Father in thy gracious keeping leave we now thy servants sleeping"

name

Sidney Holbourn was one of those whose remains could not be identified. .The list of casualties is here

Sydney Herbert Clubb (above) from Dover was also buried in the mass grave

Ernest Legg, of Eythorne, was another casualty of the explosion. He was buried there but his name is recorded on a stone by the mass grave at Faversham with others whose relatives and friends wished to bury their bodies elsewhere

George Robus of Eythorne was also a casualty of the explosion, and is buried in the mass grave. His name is on the wall to the right of the wreath 

 

J

Jane James, courtesy Dover ExpressJames, J
In 1911 Mrs Jane James, born in Littlebourne, was a widow living at 29 Snargate Street with her sister, Annie Elizabeth, her brother-in-law William George White. William was the licensee of the Marquis of Anglesey in 1900 to 1901, and from 1910 to 1921 of The Gothic, in Northampton Street. They had two daughters, Gladys and Violet. Living there too was Harry, the son of Mrs James, then aged 9, and Mrs Ann Stewart, mother-in-law and widow, aged 69.

On 19 March 1916, four enemy bombers flew over Dover, Ramsgate, and Deal. Beginning at approximately 2pm, thirty-six bombs were dropped on Dover. Mrs James ran a refreshment house but had been ill all morning and eaten her breakfast in bed at 40 Snargate Street. She had risen and was by the window as the bombers struck; a bomb hit the back of Mr Barwick's workshop in Northampton Street near her home. The fragments from the explosion fatally injured the right side of her chest and stomach 

Mrs James was buried at St Mary's, E1, on 24 March. Amongst the floral tributes were,Mrs Lloyd, courtesy Dover Express

"to my dear daughter, from her sorrowing mother" (Mrs Stewart)
"to my darling mother, from her heart-broken Harry"

Snargate/Northampton StreetsMrs Maude Lloyd left, was seriously injured. One arm had to be amputated the other suffered a compound fracture. She also had a fractured jaw and a cut on her head.  She was the widow of a soldier with several children

Note: a subsequent report stated that they were not by the window but well back in the room. The house was severely damaged and rendered quite open to the street

The picture above shows the approximate site of Mrs James' house. It is close to the western docks. Northampton Street has now been demolished and replaced by a throughway to the eastern docks.

 

K

Keates, A. and E.
Annie and Evelyn Keates. They were buried at Charlton, Dover, 2 G1, on 29 September 1917 and the headstone reads:

Annie and Evelyn Keates, gravestonem by Simon Chambers "Sacred
 to the memory of
my beloved Annie
also of our darling daughter
Evelyn Annie Keates
who lost their lives in the
air-raid 24 September 1917
In death not divided
R. I. P.
Also of John Alfred Keates
who died 29 August 1926
aged 52 years"

Annie, formerly White, was 52 years old and Evelyn was 12, born on 1 April 1905. They had moved to 40 Glenfield Road when their previous home in 19 Wood Street had been damaged by an air raid. The back of their new home was 40 Glenfieldblown in by a bomb that had fallen into the back yard. It was said at the inquest that over 25 bombs had fallen in the area

Mr Keates was an engine driver and working when the air raid occurred at around 7.20 in the evening. He was some distance away from Dover before a message was received at a station and passed on to him. He returned to find that Annie had been killed outright; Mr Keates then had the melancholy job of identifying her body at the mortuary. Mrs Keates had been sitting in the back room which was demolished, her back to the window. She was found lying on her side terribly injured having caught the full force of the explosion. Evelyn had been taken to hospital where Mr Keates visited her. She later died from her serious injuries (on 26 September?). Mr Keates's sister-in-law was also injured but survived

Mother and daughter were buried on 29 September in the afternoon at Charlton, 2GI. Mr Keates and son Ernest were amongst the mourners. Among the floral tributes were:

"From her broken-hearted husband. Sudden death, Sudden glory."
"To dear Babs, from her devoted daddy"
"In tender remembrance of our dear Mother, from Ernie and Louie"

Notes:
The "John Alfred Keates" named on the headstone may be Alfred John Keates, whose death at the age of 52 was registered in Dover in 1926.  He was the brother of Frederick Keates, whose daughter Dorothy Gregory was killed in an air raid on 24  August 1943. John's address at death was 9 Park Street, Dover. His probate was given to Emily Jane Castle in London on 27 September 1926.

Emily Jane Castle was the wife of William F Castle, whom she had married in Dover in 1912. She had previously been the wife of William Wyles, whom she married in 1891 in the Camberwell area. Née Keates, and born in 1867, she was probably the daughter of William and Mary Ann Keates, and so sister to John/Alfred and Frederick. In the 1901 census Ernest was recorded with his aunt, Emily Jane Wyles, at 6 Camperdon Road, Great Yarmouth where she was letting apartments. In 1911 she was at 38 Mount Park Road, Ealing, a widow and a nurse.

Another sister, Mary Ann Philadelphia Keates, born in Dover in 1865, married Thomas Stephen Datlen in 1885. Between 1916 and 1929 Mr Datlen was the licensee at the Red Lion pub, Charlton Green, Dover.  Mrs Datlen died on 28 January 1924, after falling over the cliff near the Royal Oak pub, Capel-le-Ferne. The verdict at the inquest was of suicide.

Amongst the floral tributes were those from Mr and Mrs A. Lund, Bob and Elsie. They were Maggie S-K's great-grandparents and grandparents, Elsie being the daughter of Mr and Mrs Lund and Bob being her husband.  Another tribute was from Elsie's sister Winnie then aged about 10. She wrote "In loving remembrance from Winnie Lund to dear Evelyn" 

with thanks to Joyce Banks

where 77 and 75 once stoodKenward, E and E. M
Edwin and Ellen Marie Kenward. They lived at 75 Crabble Hill and Miss Kenward died on 24 September 1917 when a bomb struck the house. Edwin was 75 (77?) and was blown into the fireplace and pinned beneath the debris; he died at the hospital(?) on 13 October

Mr Kenward was a former employee of Mr Chitty, and in 1911 had been a foreman flour miller. They lived then at Mill Cottage, Charlton Green. 

Ellen, aged 55 had been on her way to help a bedridden neighbour Mrs Jane Gould who later also died. Ellen was buried in the ruins of the front part of the house apparently struck as she was entering. Her body had been cut in two and such had been the blast, her clothes had been blown off. The body was so dreadfully mutilated that it could not be identified. The jury at the inquest decided it must have been she as the build and hair colouring (dark going grey) were similar to hers

house backsPoignantly eight days before Mr Kenward died a notice "In loving memory of Ellen Maria Kenward second daughter of Edwin Kenward who was accidentally killed on Monday 24 September. Deeply mourned by her sorrowing Father and Sister, Brother-in-Law, Nieces and Nephew" was inserted in the Dover Express

Ellen was buried at Charlton on 29 September, QU 32, the grave of her mother who died in 1900. Her brother-in-law and sister Mr and Mrs C S M Wells and daughters Mrs Smith and Ilene Wells were amongst the mourners. Just 17 days later they had returned with Miss Lucy Wells also for the funeral of Ellen's father 

The image above shows the gap, where no's 75 and 77 once stood. The site is now occupied by a garage. Left is a view of the backs of the houses still standing  no's 75 and 77 would have been to the left
 

In loving memory of Mary,
Wife of Edwin Kenward,
Died 7 February 1900
Aged 58 years

For whoever giveth his beloved sleep

 

In loving memory of Edwin Kenward,
Husband of the above,
Who died 13 October 1917
Aged 77 years

Peace, perfect peace

In loving memory of
Ellen Maria Kenward
Who died 24 September 1917
Aged 55 years

In the midst of life we are in death

gravestone, by Joyce Banks

transcription and gravestone picture by Joyce Banks

 

L

4 WidredLittle, E.
Edward Little aged 72/73 lived at 4 Widred Road with his sister. On 4 September 1917 he was out at the back. He had just called to his son-in-law George Smith "Did you hear that, George?" when the family heard a "sissing noise" Mr Little's sister said, "Oh, the devils!" and then knew no more

A bomb had fallen and smashed in the backs of numbers 4 and 6. Mr Little was killed outright. He was discovered buried under rubble with his head blown back of housescompletely away. His daughter, Minnie Smith and her husband were also buried and it took some little time for a constable and others to clear away the debris covering them and remove them. Mr Smith sustained a fractured leg but Mrs Smith was critically hurt with injuries about her arms body and head. When rescued she was conscious enough to enquire after her father as did also her husband. Mrs Smith died over a month later in hospital.  The three children in the house suffered only cuts and bruises

Mr Little was buried at Charlton cemetery on 8 September in the same grave as his wife, TJ 17, after a service at St Bartholomew's. He was a retired gas fitter and the gas company was represented by three members. They accompanied the mourners including Mr Edward John Little, Mrs Clara Johncock, Mrs Annie Ledner, and Mrs Emily Filmer, his children. There was a further son Sydney. In 1881 and 1891 the family had lived at 43 Tower Hamlets Street; Lydia, Mr Little's wife had died in 1899 and thereafter they had gone to 10 Avenue Road 

with thanks to Joyce Banks

Edward Little was the grandfather of Florence Minnie Johncock, and Minnie Smith was her aunt

Images:
above - the gap is where 4 Widred Road once stood
right - the backs of the houses; the gap is where no 4 once was. Flats are now being built behind and the former 4 Widred Road is the access road 

1 Priory Hill by Simon ChambersLong, H. J. H.
Henry James Holman Long a clerk was killed on 4h September 1917 at 1 Priory Hill the home of his father. They had heard an aeroplane at 10.30pm and had gone to the front of the house as they had believed it was a British plane. However, they identified it as an enemy machine from the distinctive noise of the engine and at that moment bombs began to fall

They shut the door and almost at once there was a loud noise. Masonry fell down around them. Mr Long the father and his daughter had crouched under an arch but the son was not with them. When it was still Mr Long called his son but there was no reply. Switching on the light he found his son on the landing up the stairs his head over the last step and completely unconscious

Beside him was a hole in the wall. This was probably caused by the force of a bomb explosion and Henry would have felt the full blast. He was bleeding from his head and hand although there seemed to be no visible injury. Mr Long ran for an ambulance. Henry was still just alive when he arrived at the hospital but died shortly afterwards. He was 29     

graveHe was buried at St Mary's on 8 September 8Z LB with his mother, Harriett, who had died on 22 March 1915. His father Charles Thomas Long who was an accountant and his uncle W S Long attended, along with Messrs F C Wright and H Davis (AMR) fellow employees from Wiggins Teape and Co, Dover. There were many floral tributes

Mr Long at the inquest said that there had been no siren warning of the hostile aircraft and that had there been they would have gone to a safe place. He believed his son had died running up the stairs to get his collar. This was probably so that he might be respectably dressed to take refuge with other people

The cross of Mr Long's grave has become dislodged from the base which had been covered by ivy so the inscriptions were no longer visible. The cross is normally now laid flat for safety reasons, the inscriptions on the grave read:

In loving memory
of James Long
born March 8 1824
died January 22 1904

also
Jane Grayling Long
widow of the above
born 17 October 1835
died 18 August 1923

also Harriet Long
daughter-in-law of the above
born 29 March 1850
died 22 March 1915

also
Henry James Holman Long
born 2? September 1888
grandson of the above
killed by hostile aircraft
4 September 1917

with thanks to Joyce Banks

note: Henry was christened at Littlebourne on 14 October 1888. His father was then a private tutor.

 


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