war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War I



Surnames V

Vale, F. J. 
Frederick John Vale, 6921, was a Private in the Northumberland Fusiliers, in the 1st/5th battalion. He died of wounds on 4th January 1917, and is buried in the Dernancourt Communal cemetery extension in France.

He was born in Gordon, Kincardineshire, and enlisted in Hinkley in Leicestershire.

The grave is at Charlton cemetery, and the inscription reads:

In ever loving memory
My dear husband
Thomas William Vale
Who died December 7th 1915
Aged 59 years.
Also in loving remembrance of Pte. F. J.Vale
1/5th Northumberland Fusiliers
Who died of wounds in France
4th January 1917, aged 29 years.
Not gone from memory
Not gone from love
But gone to our father's home above.
grave by Joyce Banks

picture and transcription Joyce Banks

Vanson, R. W.
Robert William Vanson, 199912, was an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy. He died on 22nd September, 1914, when he was 31, when the HMS "Cressy" was sunk in the North Sea. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial in the United Kingdom

He was born on 2 October 1882 and was the eldest son of Robert Vanson, of 35 Stonehall, Lydden. In 1891 Mr Vanson was 29 and a steam roller engine driver, and living with his wife Susan and family at 8 Hultsdorph Cottage, Charlton, Dover. Robert then was aged 7 and had one older brother, James, 9, and one younger, Bertie, 4.  The children and Mrs Vanson were all born at Wingham.

In 1901 Robert was 18, and serving as an ordinary seaman on the Royal Sovereign, at the Grand Harbour, Malta. He became the "dearly loved" husband of Amelia Field in Dover in 1904. She was informed of his death at the address of 4G Quarters, HM Prison, Portland, Dorset. When she died on 27 November 1959, the probate of her will was given to Robert William Vanson, a merchant navy seaman, and Elizabeth Florence Bowling, née Vanson, born 1908, wife of Walter Bowling.

Illustration - lifebelt from HMS Cressy, now at Chatham Historic Dockyard

Vigor, C. J. 
Charles John, 17289, was born in Burwash Sussex, on 4th July 1892. He had fair hair and blue eyes, and grew to five feet six inches in height. He had two vaccination marks on his left arm. Before enlisting on 5th September 1914, he was a clerk. He enlisted in Canada, joining the 7th battalion of the British Columbia Regiment.

He was 30 when he died on 13th January 1921, from the effects of gas poisoning received in France in 1915. He was buried at St Mary's, Dover, on 20th January. There was a band and a party of bearers from the 2nd battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

He was the son of Frederick E and Annie Vigor of 46 Snargate Street, who were amongst the mourners. Also present were Bert, George, Harry, Jim, and Bill, Charles' brothers, and Flo, Louie, and Nellie, his sisters. The family may previously have resided at 11 Caroline Place, Dover.

A Vidler, courtesy Dover ExpressA Vidler, courtesy Dover ExpressVidler, A. E.
Alfred Ernest Vidler, 9262, was a Private in the 3rd battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment. He was a career solider, having been, in 1911, at Jhansi, Uttar Pradish, India, as a private in the 2nd battalion.  He was killed in action at the age of 28 on 7th November 1914, and is commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial, Ypres in Belgium.      

He was born (in 1885) and enlisted in Dover, and was the son of William and Harriet Vidler, née Wraight, of 49, Limekiln St., Dover, Kent, formerly 62 Limekiln Street. His father stated that he had gone to school in Dover, being a native of Dover, but that, although he had submitted a letter at the proper time, when he went to the opening he could not see his son's name on the Memorial. His name was placed on the 1934 panel

Alfred has been working at Staplehurst Railway Station, and was to have been married to Miss Daisy Rigden, from 28 Limekiln Street .                    

in memoriam, courtesy Dover Express

A Vidler on Menin Gate, by Michelle and Andy Cooper




Menin Gate by Andy and Michelle Cooper

Valentine, W. G. 
William George Valentine, G/40114, was killed in action on 3rd May 1917 when he was 25. He was a Lance Corporal in the Royal West Surrey Regiment, 6th battalion, and formerly 4126, the Buffs. He is commemorated on the Arras memorial in France.

He was born in Dover, and enlisted and lived there. He left to mourn his father, Charles Valentine, his sisters, and brothers

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