17 THE DOVER WAR MEMORIAL PROJECT - World War One - Civilian Casualties from WWI - Surnames N to Z

 

 

 

THE  DOVER WAR MEMORIAL  PROJECT

 

war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

 

World War I

 

CIVILIANS

Surnames N to Z

P

Philpott, J.
Julia Philpott, nee Golder, was born at Ringwould about 1844. She married on 19 August 1866 at St Andrews, Buckland, to John Philpott. In 1871 they were living at Union Road, Dover, with Mr Philpott working as a stable man. Also there were Mrs Philpott's father John Golder, a gardener, and four children, Mary, 12, Frederick, 7, Ellen, 4, and John, 1.

The family were at 41 Castle Place in 1881, with Mrs Philpott working as a charwoman and her husband as a general labourer. At home then were Ellen, an unemployed domestic servant, John, and William, then seven. Ten years later they had moved to 115 Castle Place, with Mr Philpott citing his occupation as an ostler, although he had become an invalid. They had been joined by a new son, Reginald, then six.

Mr Philpott died in 1895, and by 1901 Mrs Philpott was living at  2 Golden Cross Passage, Russell Street, with her sons John, an agricultural labourer, and Reginald, an errand boy. Both sons had become general labourers by 1911, when the family were still at 2 Golden Cross Cottages.

It is believed that Mrs Philpott was injured in an air raid on 23 January 1916, dying five months later at he age of 71.

Reginald died on 11 November 1927 at Preston Hall Hospital, Aylesford.

R

Robus G. F.
George Frederick Robus (left) of 2 Chapel Cottages Eythorne died in the great munitions explosion at Faversham on 2 April 1916. He was 35. He was buried in the mass grave at Faversham; his name is on the wall to the right of the steps. His remains were amongst those that could not be identified.

George was the son of the late Mr Frederick Robus and his wife Emily, née Townsend, of 24 Oakleigh Terrace, Westbury Road, Dover, who had married in 1878. The couple were living at 5 Clarendon Street in 1881, then moved to 178 Clarendon Place for the next decade or two.

Born in Dover in about 1883 and christened at St John Mariner on 9 May 1893, George was one of eleven children. Sadly Alice Maud, born in 1892, died the following year at the age of 14 months. George's other siblings were: Ethel Townsend, born about 1879, Grace Emily, 1880, Annie Elizabeth, 1881, then George, then Alfred William, 1884, Albert Atkins, about 1886, Harry, 1887, Frank Arthur, about 1889,  then finally Bertie, 1894, and Ernest Charles W. about 1898.

George married Mabel Edith Cox in 1910 and the couple had three children; Ruby P V born 1911, Ernest G F, 1913, and Rhoda Q C, 1915.

Ernest Legg, Sydney Clubb, and Sidney Holbourn were other victims of the tragedy. The list of casualties is here

 

George's brother E Robus (right) (probably Ernest Charles) was a gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was wounded on 22 July 1917 and convalesced in Oust Gew Hospital Rouen. Before he enlisted he was employed for five years by Mr Pexton of Snargate Street. He was the youngest son of the family, and died on 19 February 1940 at Ashford, Kent, hospital.

Mr Frederick Robus died on 17 May 1915 at his home at 24 Westbury Road, aged 61, after a lengthy and painful illness. He was buried at St James. Mrs Emily Robus died on 23 September 1928 at 61 Westbury Road, Dover, aged 74. She was buried in the same grave as her husband. One of their sons, Alfred, had emigrated to Canada; another, Frank, to Australia.

George's brother, Frank Arthury, married in 1912 Maude Ellen Farrell, the sister of William Henry Farrell. She later married later married Samuel Wakerell, and they became the parents of Leslie Wakerell. She remarried in 1955 to Charles J Handley, who may have been the brother of Walter Ernest Handley.

Ethel Townsend Robus married on 27 December 1902 at Christchurch, Hougham William James Back, a gasfitter. They became the parents of Leslie Joseph R Back.

S

site of Red LionSladden, H
Henry (Harry) Richard Sladden aged 43 was a widower born in London, and occupied as a casual  labourer. He may have acted as barman at the Red Lion in St James Street. He had lived at the Red Lion for some eight or nine years; the pub also was a lodging house. He was said to have been a very nice man, steady, and with a wonderful memory

He had been sleeping in a first floor room on the night of 22/23 January 1916. At 12.47 on the Sunday morning a bomb fell on the roof perhaps some nine feet away and burst. The roof was blown off and debris and a joist fell into the room. The chimney breast was riddled and there was a strong smell of gas when the assistant manager entered.  Harry Sladden was on the bed by the wall beneath the window covered with debris. His body was still warm but he was probably already dead and certainly was so by the time the doctor arrived

The doctor stated that Harry had compound fractures of both bones of his right leg below the knee and that these were probably caused by shrapnel wounds.  The fatal injury was a severe lacerated wound of the wall of the stomach through which intestines were protruding. It was a clean cut and as there was no burning as would have been expected had it been a shrapnel wound it may have been caused by a falling slate. The clothes had been blown away

At the inquest there was a short discussion as to whether a verdict of murder could be returned. The Coroner  however stated that this would be of no avail that they were at war and that Harry had been killed by a bomb thrown from a hostile aircraft  grave plot, Joyce Banks

Harry Sladden was buried at St James cemetery on Thursday afternoon, 27 January 1916, M J 5. Large crowds were in the streets to see the cortège pass and Alderman J W Bussey his employer was amongst the mourners. Floral tributes included those from "Two old friends, Mr White and Mr Madden", "J. Skinner and family and fellow lodgers", "four old workmates" "from his mates"

There had been three others in the room who escaped with injuries. One of them aged aged 67 remembered hearing a bomb but knew nothing till half past six the following morning. A bed between him and Harry Sladden had been thrown on top of him and "Dick" had removed it. He had been so stunned he had gone downstairs with no clothes on but he remembered neither that nor being seen by a doctor. Nor did he recall having gone up and downstairs two or three times after the explosion. His head had been affected and he was still dizzy by the Tuesday after the bomb fell

Post Script: The assistant manager giving evidence at the inquest rather wryly noted that the proprietor of the Red Lion was an invalid but that when the bomb fell the proprietor getting out of the property displayed greater energy than the assistant manager had known him have for two and a half years 

illustrations: The site of the Red Lion - opposite the Lord Nelson, and now a redundant multi-storey car park
site of Harry Sladden's grave, with thanks to Joyce Banks

see also the chip on the Rifles monument

Smith, M. R.
Minnie Rhoda Smith aged 40 was fatally injured when a bomb smashed the backs of numbers 4 and 6 Widred Road on 4 September 1917. Born in Dover, she died on 11th October at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Her father Mr Edward Little was also killed.

 

Her husband George Smith a bakery carman and her sons George and Harold Smith, along with her sisters Mrs Johncock, Ledner, and Filmer, and sister-in-law Mrs Aldhouse, were amongst the mourners when she was buried on 17 October at Charlton, 2 C6. The first part of the funeral service took place at the church and her coffin was borne to the grave by fellow employees (from the Co-operative Society?) of her husband: Messrs Potter, Evans, May, and Culmer.

 

Floral tributes included those "From her loving husband and children", and "Employees of the Co-operative Society".

 

with thanks to Joyce Banks

Mrs Smith was the aunt of Florence Minnie Johncock

Stoker, E. M.
Edith Stoker (pictured left in about 1906) was killed on 19 March 1916. She was a housemaid in the service of Mrs P Hart from Maison Dieu Road. On her Sunday afternoon off she was cycling to Folkestone, probably to see her sweetheart 

An exploding bomb, which hit the tram track in Folkestone Road by St John's Terrace, threw her from her bike and drove her through the door of Mr Tarrant's stationer's shop on the other side of Folkestone Road, at number 131. She was discovered lying in the entrance and was taken to hospital in a car with Francis Hall, another casualty, where she died from her dreadful injuries

She was 23 and the daughter of a Sergeant Major pensioner from the Royal Garrison Artillery. She and her brother Frederick had been born in Singapore; another brother, William, and sister, Mabel, were born in Dover, as was her mother. Her parents lived at 13 Church Road

photographer Charles Harris 77 London Road, Dover

Flowers laid on Miss Stoker's grave after her funeral

   

Third page of Mourning Card for Miss Stoker

In Loving Memory
of
Edith Mary
the beloved daughter of
Regimental Sergt-Mjr & Mrs Stoker
(RGA)
who died 19th March 1916
(An Air Raid Victim)
aged 23 years and 5 months

Oh how our hearts do ache
When we think of how she died

Right - the front of the card. On page two a verse reads:

We miss the handclasp, miss the loving smile;
Our hearts are broken, yet a little while
We too shall pass the golden gates.
God help us, God comfort us while we wait.

Edith Stoker's grave, by Joyce Banks

Edith Stoker is buried at St James, with other war casualties. The words at the foot of her headstone read:

 

Sacred to the memory
of
Edith Mary
Second daughter of
George W. and Annie L. Stoker
Who died from enemy action
19 March 1916. Aged 23

 

The Stoker Family in the summer of 1906

From left to right - Annie Louisa Stoker (née Bartholomew) holding Winifred (about 18 months); Frederick (11); William (16); Annie (19) with her granddad, Finnis Bartholomew in front; Edith (13) with Mabel (9) in front; George (4), and George William Stoker. The last child in the family, Dorothy (Dollie), was born in 1907 in South Africa.

Mr and Mrs Stoker were married in Dover in 1885.

 

 


Dollie Stoker, at a peace treat for Church Road on 21 August 1919. She is in the second row from front, seventh from right.

Folkestone Road


opposite: Folkestone Road looking towards Folkestone. The car is parked outside the shop where Miss Stoker was blown from her bike. It is still a newsagent's today (2009) Little Francis Hall was also killed in this area on the same date

Note: One report gives her name as Miss Alice  Stokes
photo of grave and transcription with thanks to Joyce Banks
In memoriam card and flowers with thanks to David Stoker and Ann Blyth
Family photographs with thanks to Jill Stoker

Stokes, F. C.
Frederick Charles Stokes was a telegrapher, and brother to William, below. Born in Dover in 1876, he was injured in the raid on Folkestone on 25 May 1917, and never fully recovered. He died on 11 October 1918 from phthisis and pulmonary haemorrhage. He left his second wife and six children.

Tontine Street, where the bomb fellStokes, W. H.
William Henry Stokes was one of two Stokes brothers who ran the greengrocers' shop in Tontine Street in Folkestone which shop, now destroyed (right), was the focus of the Gotha Raid devastation on 25 May 1917

He was born in Dover around 1871 and married in 1895. His son Arthur was also killed

Right, the spot where the bomb fell

They are buried at Cheriton cemetery, Folkestone, 3653 (u) The words on the headstone (in the centre) read:

headstone

In
Ever Loving Memory
of
my dear husband
William Henry Stokes
who died 25 May 1917
aged 46 years

also
of my son
Arthur Ernest Stokes
who died 28 May 1917
aged 15 years
(Victims of the air raid)
In the midst of life we are in death

also of Jane
widow of the above W. H. Stokes
who died 23 October 1953
aged 90 years
Reunited

 

W

Ward, R. H.
Robert Henry Ward, Boy Scout - see here

Wall, L.
Admiral Harvey pub, by Simon Chambers
Lucy Wall was a servant girl at the Admiral Harvey public house. She was killed on 22 August 1917 during the last of the daylight Gotha air raids when some seven or eight of the craft in formation flew over the town. Most of their bombs fell into the harbour but three or four bombs were dropped on Dover by one plane that flew directly over the town. The largest bomb, it is said, fell at the back of the Admiral Harvey where it did a great deal of damage. The only occupant at the time was Lucy and she was found at the back of the house very badly injured. She died on the way to hospital.

Lucy was the daughter of Stephen William Wall, who in 1891 was an agricultural labourer, and his wife Fanny, née Hawkes. The couple had married in 1883, and both had been born in Ash, Kent as had their first two children, Thomas Cecil and and Ivy Mabel. The family were living in Guston, where, in 1901 they were living at 38 Guston Street. Mr Wall was working as an agricultural cattle yard man, while Thomas was a waggoner's horse boy. There were then three more children; Hilda, aged 8, born in Westcliffe, Kent, and Albert, 3, and Lucy, aged 1. 

Mrs Wall died in 1905, and at Lucy's inquest, her father,  widower, of 27 Union Road and formerly of 21 Prospect Place, said he had identified the body of his daughter. Mrs Jane Sutton, who was a widow living at 20 Paul's Place, said "I was standing on a table in the back bedroom looking at the German aeroplanes. I saw the deceased standing at the back door and she shouted "Are they Germans?" and I replied "Oh yes!" She came outside the door a little bit further to watch them. I said "You had better go further back inside" as the guns were getting louder and louder. At that moment something came down and blew me off the table on to the bed and I lost myself for ten minutes. When I woke up I was covered with glass. The flame was something dreadful. The bomb burst ten yards away from me. I was only bruised and scratched a bit. Afterwards I saw them taking the poor girl away on a stretcher".

Mr E W Ewell was a special constable and a chemist, and he said "When the firing commenced I was in High Street and after the bomb dropped I saw the smoke and ran iRear of Admiral Harvey, with Paul's Place houses on the left, by Simon Chambersn its direction. I could not see where the bomb dropped and enquired at several houses and then had to take refuge owing to the shrapnel dropping. I was afterwards told that the girl was in this public house alone. I climbed over the wall and searched the house and found the body lying partly in and partly out of the back door. She was not dead but unconscious. She however died before we put her on the stretcher. I sent her on to the Hospital then. There was a bad wound under the left breast and other smaller ones. She was 30 feet away from where the bomb burst and all around her on the wall were marks where fragments had hit. At the Hospital Dr Clarke said that she was dead".

Mr Rogers, the landlord, said that the girl was by herself in the house, his wife having gone to London. The only living thing in the house was a dog that had a piece of bomb in its paw and he took that out the previous night.      

Lucy was buried at Guston churchyard with the cortège leaving from the Duke of York's School lodge house, the home of her sister. Lucy's grave is now not locatable.   

Post Script: A pear tree at the rear of the Admiral Harvey was blasted by the bomb; its leaves withered and the pears fell off. But by October it was budding again and even in bloom. An observer remarked, "the tree didn't mean to be beaten by the Hun!" 

Note: Mr and Mrs Rogers were later to lose their only son Charles Rogers in World War II and three months later Mr Rogers was also killed. Mrs Rogers' daughter lost her husband, William Ferry Raper, on 31 May 1915. They had been married just a month. The following licensees Mr and Mrs Harper also lost their only son, Cyril Harper. 

Wood, D. E.
garage, Folkestone RoadDorothy Eleanor Wood had just begun duties as a typist at the Town Clerk's office, and was attending Miss Pilcher's shorthand and typewriting class on the ground floor of the house of Mr Smith at 10 Folkestone Road. She lived at 9 Alfred Road and was the daughter of Henry Wood, a carpenter born at Malling, Kent, and his wife Lilly, from Brighton.

On 24 September 1917 the siren sounded for an air raid warning. The ladies in Miss Pilcher's class put up the wooden shutters inside the windows to prevent the glass injuring them should there be a near hit from a bomb. They then continued with their lesson

Nine minutes after the class had begun the second bomb fell, according to the Chief Constable it exploded in the garden some four to six yards from the window and damaged the front of the house. One young lady had a lucky escape as she had not arrived at the class when the warning siren had begun and had instead run home but in the class several of the ladies were wounded, three seriously. Miss Wood was found just inside the front window and was badly injured in both her upper arms and one of her legs. A piece of the bomb had also injured her spine

Her father had been informed she was hurt and believed her injuries serious. She was taken to hospital while heavy bombing was continuing. However Miss Wood had told the hospital they need not "bother as she was not hurt much". Sadly she deteriorated and died at four o' clock in the morning of Tuesday 2 October

Miss Wood was 17½ years old. She is buried at Buckland, 2061

with thanks to Joyce Banks

image above right: the houses no longer exist and the site is a garage


Right:: the Wesleyan Chapel next door to Miss Pilcher's class was struck by the previous bomb. The rear wall was demolished and the roof slid off the sides  Wesley chapel, courtesy Dover Express


 

 

 


Left: the open roof - the chairs are still neatly in their blocked rows inside the damaged chapel .More about this chapel may be seen here. (We have further better quality pictures - set 2048)

 


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