war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War I



Surnames W

R H Ward, courtesy Dover ExpressWard, R. H.
Robert Henry Ward was the son of Mr and Mrs Francis Ward from Florence Villa, 3 Monins Road, Dover. His father was an engineer at the military pumping station and had come from Leicestershire, while his mother, Mary Jane, was born in Weymouth.Robert had elder sisters, Lily Wrighton Ward, a dressmaker in 1911 and then aged 17, who was born in Cairo, and Rose Frances Mary Ward, born in Aldershot in 1897. Robert himself was born in Catford 

A pupil at the County School (now Grammar School) Robert was a member of the school scout troop. The Scouts were officially recognised by the Government and were engaged on a number of duties to assist the war. These duties included patrolling telegraph and telephone routes along with the exchanges, assisting the Fleet Paymaster and helping at the local horse R H Ward, courtesy Dover Expressdepot and the local transport service. They worked around the clock at the airship camp and were also guarding tunnels, present at Dover Castle, and on duty at the Grand Shaft. They not only achieved much work but also enabled the release of service personnel for other more arduous duties (set 328/5)

Robert was a keen scout. Just as he was waiting to be relieved from duty on Saturday 15 August 1914 he suffered a severe accident. He was getting out of a ground floor window at the scout headquarters Belmont House, Priory Gate Road, when his foot slipped on a wall and his right leg went through the frame of another window. He sustained a number of severe cuts. He was attended by Dr Morrison and removed to the Royal Victoria Hospital. Unfortunately on the Wednesday he became severely ill and tetanus was diagnosed. Robert (Bob) died in the evening of Thursday 20 August aged 13 years and 11 months  

Robert's funeral took place on Monday 24 August at Charlton Cemetery. He had been a member of Christ Church choir and a number of the choir were present. They sang at the cemetery chapel and when the coffin was borne to the grave. When the coffin, which bore the inscription "Robert Henry Ward, died 20 August 1914 in his 14th year" had been lowered into Grave ZJ 26 a bouquet of flowers from his sister Rose was placed on top. Amongst the many other floral tributes were placed Robert's scout hat, belt, and water R H Ward's funeral, courtesy Dover Expressbottle, under the flags of Great Britain, France, and Belgium. Scouts who were not on duty were present including those from St Martin's troop and Sea Scouts. Wearing black armbands they passed by the head of the grave each one saluting in farewell. District Scoutmaster Eaves, who was later himself to lose his life in the war, was in attendance

As a scout who had died on war service Robert was honoured in a semi-military fashion with the drums and the trumpets of the 5th Royal territorial regiment saluting him and with the Last Post played as he was buried

Sacred To the Memory of
Robert Henry
Beloved and only son of
Francis and Mary Ward
Died 20 August 1914
In his 14th year
"Be Prepared"

Fondest Memory of a Darling Angel
Ethel Violet Ward
Lent to us for 3 years 11 months, fell asleep 2 March 1899
Interred at Norwich Cemetery

Ever Loving Memory of
(Harry) Henry Francis
Dearly beloved only child of
Henry William and Rose Frances Mary Hudson (nee Rose Ward)
Died 1 May 1929, aged 2 years 7 months
"A Little Sunbeam"

photo and transcription Joyce Banks

Webb, S. G.

Sydney Graham Webb, 2288, was a Corporal in the Surrey Yeomanry (Queen Mary's Regiment)  Corporal Webb enlisted on 10/26 October 1914. He left Plymouth on 10 May 1915 for Alexandria arriving there on 21.  He had a short spell in hospital beginning 9 October 1915 rejoining his unit at Cairo on 2 November 1915

He served at Sidi Bishr from 14 February 1916 and made Acting Provost Corporal on 7th April(?) 1916. He was admitted to hospital again at Alexandria on 22 April 1916. On 18 May 1916 Corporal Webb was sent to England. On 27 June 1916 he was discharged from Croydon Mental Hospital, Warlingham, Surrey, as permanently unfit for service. He died on 20 July 1916 aged 41 and is buried in Farleigh (St Mary) Churchyard, near Warlingham, Surrey. The words at the bottom of his gravestone read, "At Rest".

Corporal Webb was the son of Henry Webb of Sloane St, London, and the husband of Mabel Louise Sherratt (formerly Webb) of 5, Maison Dieu Rd, Dover, formerly 7 Orlando Road, Clarendon Park, Leicester.

pictures with thanks to Elizabeth Gates 

H C Wickenden, courtesy Dover ExpressWickenden, H. C.
Henry Charles Wickenden, CH/6612, a sergeant in the Royal Marine Light Infantry, was lost with the HMS Cressy on 22 September 1914. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Panel 7

Born on 10 August 1878 at upper Deal, he was the son of Henry and Louisa Wickenden, of 9 Dolphin Lane, Dover. In 1881 the family were living at 21 Claremont Gardens, Ramsgate, when Mr Wickenden was working as a bricklayer. Also there was Henry's younger brother, Charles, 6 months old. By 1891 the family had moved to 2 School Cottages, Ripple. Mr Wickenden had become a maltster, and the two brothers had been joined by Charlotte, 7, Esther, 5, Alice, 2, and Emma, 3 months, all born at Ringwould.

On 9 July 1908 Henry married Mary Ann Colyer at the parish church in Folkestone. She had a son, Richard, born on 28 October 1907. A daughter, Mary, born in 1911, died the next year.

Mrs Wickenden was living at 92 Lindon Crescent, Folkestone, when she was informed of her husband's death. She remarried on 28 December 1914 to become Mrs Chantler. She bore a further seven children, Mary, 1915, Joseph, 1916, Edward, 1917, Dorothy, 1920, Amos, 1923, Elizabeth, 1925, and William, 1930.

Williams, B. C.
Bert Christopher Williams was 22 years and 9 months when he enlisted on 8 October 1915 at Brantford, Ontario, Canada. He was 5 feet 6 inches tall, with blue eyes and brown hair, and had been working as a machine hand. He lived at 11 Ruth Street, later 12 Edwin Street in Brantford, and was married to Clara.

He had emigrated to Canada with his parents, William and Martha, and five of his eight brothers and sisters, having been born in Dover on 1 January 1893. The family had been living at 3 Herbert Street, in Dover, in 1901. William Henry Williams was then a dock labourer; in 1891 he had been working as a gardener, with the family living at 4 Charlton Green.

Bert was killed on 3 May 1917, while serving as Private 305118 in the Canadian Infantry (Western Onatrio Regiment), 1 battalion. He is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial, France, on the Brantford Memorial, Ontario, and at Brantford Works.

Others in Bert's family also served. Living at Brock Street, Brantford, and later at Brant Avenue, William Henry Williams enlisted as 774272. He gave his date of birth as 11 June 1872 (he was actually born in 1864), at Ripple, Kent, and his occupation as a carpenter. His son, Bert's brother, also William, born in Dover on 10 August 1894 and a labourer, enlisted on 8 December 1914. Another Dover-born son, Fred Richard Williams,  enlisted too, on 5 October 1915. A note on his attestation forms states that his actual date of birth was 18 November `1900; he was not, therefore, the 17 years 11 months he had claimed on enlisting.

with thanks to Joyce Banks

Williams, T. N.
Thomas Norris Williams, T/291489, was a Driver in the Army Service Corps attached to the 12th Cycle Brigade.

On 1 June 1887 he was christened at Christchurch, Hougham, Dover, along with his sister, Esther Margaret. Their parents were Charles, a labourer, and Annie Williams, who lived at Lower Row.

In 1891 the family were at 19 Ladywell Place, Dover, with four children; Charles, 10, Thomas, 6, Esther, 4, and Walter, 1. On 29 May 1909 Thomas married at Holy Trinity Maud Louisa Newing, the daughter of a carter, James Newing. Another daughter of James Newing was Emily Maria, who in 1915 married George Decent

By 1911 Thomas and Maud Williams were living at 7 Market Street. Mother Annie, by then a hard-of-hearing widow, and Walter and Margaret (probably Esther) were also living there. Thomas was working as a labourer at a coal merchant's, having been a quay labourer in 1909.

Thomas enlisted at Park Royal. He died of pneumonia on 11 November 1918 in Canterbury Hospital. He was buried at St James, Dover, M G 13, with military honours, with the band of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in attendance. Mourners included his widow, from 43 South Road, Tower Hamlets, Dover, and Private Walter Williams, his brother, and Mrs H Hogben, his sister. Also present were George Decent and his wife "Emmie", who was the sister of Martha Abbott.

The stone in the foreground reads:

Sacred to the Memory of our dear Parents Thomas Norris Williams. Died 11 November 1918 aged 33 years. Also our beloved Mother Maud Louisa died 30 December 1962 aged 73 years. At rest

photo and transcription with thanks to Joyce Banks
note: Thomas Norris Williams is listed as Norris Thomas Williams in both the CWGC and Soldiers Died; his obituary and civil registration od death also name him as "Norris"

TC Williams, courtesy Dover ExpressWilliams, T. C.
Thomas Charles Williams, 299881, was a Stoker 1st Class, in the Royal Navy. He died when HMS Hawke was torpedoed on 15 October 1914 age 29. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Panel 6

He was the son of Mr and Mrs Joseph Williams of 16 Bridge Street, Dover and lived at 42 Bridge Street when he was lost  

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