Darby, William John Born in 1886 at Burton Bradstock, son of Richard & Anna Darby. During the war he was a Lance Corporal in the Royal Marine Artillery. Service No. PLY/4689 He died on the 5 th of April 1917 on SS Calliope after she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-65 (Hermann von Fischel) Buried in Trapani Town Cemetery, Italy, plot I, row 4A.
Billett, Arthur Summers Born on the 20 th of July 1882 at Bruton, Somerset, the son of James and Ellen Billett (nee Tilbury). Baptised on the 17 th of November 1882 at Bruton. On the 1891 census he is shown as living in Wyke Regis. On the 1901 and 1911 censuses he was recorded at the Eastney Royal Marine Artillery Barracks, Portsmouth. On the 28th of February 1911 he married Laura Minnie Billett of White Cross, Litton Cheney,. She appears on the 1911 Litton Cheney census as Laura Minnie Pitcher, daughter of Louis Pitcher, baker, at White Cross, Litton Cheney. During the war he was a gunner with the Royal Marine Artillery. Service No. RMA/9392 (R.M.R/B/1241) (Po). He died on the 19th of March 1918 aged 36 on SS Burnstone when she was torpedoed by the German submarine UB-62 (Bernhard Putzier). His body was not recovered for burial. Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial Panel 30.
In Honoured Memory of the Men of this Parish who died during the First World War
Chainey, William John Born in Litton Cheney in 1886, the son of Eli and Elizabeth Chainey. Baptised on the 31 st of October 1886. On the 1911 census for Bridport he is shown as living at Clayhanger, servant to George James and Cora Maud Cox During the war he was a private in the 2nd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment. Service No. 16907 He fought in Mesopotamia where he died on the 25 th of March 1917 Buried in Al Basra War Cemetery, Iraq. Plot: Panels 22 and 63.
Collins, Albert Thomas Born in 1885 in Litton Cheney. Baptised on the 26 th of December 1885 at Puncknowle. Litton Cheney Bellringer. Married Bessie Foot on 6 th June 1913. During the war he was a private with the ¼th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment. Service No. 201210. He fought in Mesopotamia where he died on the 1 st of June 1918. Buried in Baghdad War Cemetery Ref. XII L5
Fry, Charles Edward Charles Fry, born on 26th December 1881 in Dorchester, Dorset, was the son of Thomas and Anna Fry of “Baglake”, Litton Cheney, Dorset. He was married to Hilda Sophie, née Watson, on 4 September 1916. He attended Dover College 1895-1901, where he was head prefect in his final year. Whilst at Merton he was President of the Boat Club in 1903/4. In 1906, he became an Assistant Classics Master at Manchester Grammar School, and set up the school’s rowing club. On the outbreak of war he applied to become an officer with the Public Schools’ Battalion, returning to Manchester to work with the school’s Officer Training Corps. Gazetted to the Royal Field Artillery, he left for France in 1915. He was killed on 17th April 1917, aged 35, along with three other members of his gun team, by a direct hit during a bombardment near the village of Athies, on the outskirts of Arras. He is buried in Anzin-St Aubin British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France, and is also commemorated on the Cheadle Hulme Memorial (as T C Fry), and on the war memorial at St Mary’s Church, Litton Cheney, Dorset.
Fry, Walter Louis Born in 1897, son of George and Annie Charlotte Fry of The Paddocks, Litton Cheney. During the war he was a private with the 1st Battalion, West Ontario Regiment, Canadian Infantry. Service No. 6682 He died on the 29 th of May 1915 aged 18. Buried in Choques Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France I. C. 82
Northover, Reginald George Born in April 1884 at Litton Cheney, son of George and Jane (nee Cheney) Northover. Baptised 15th of June 1884..A Litton Cheney Bellringer. Jane Northover died in 1884. George then married Amelia Trowbridge on the 29 th of January 1885. George died in January 1888 whereupon Amelia became head of the household. Enlisted on the 24 th of October 1904 for 12 years. Height 5 feet 4 inches. brown hair, grey eyes, fresh complexion. Postman prior to enlisting. Stoker 1st Class on HMS Queen Mary. Service No. 307832 He died on the 31 st of May 1916 at the Battle of Jutland. Body not recovered for burial. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 19.
Walker, William Archibald Smail Not found in any census - probably because he lived in India. Bon of Born in Dum-Dum India on the 31st of October 1874, the son of Major General Alexander Walker (C.S.I.R.A.) and Anne Yewdale Lambert Smail. Educated at. Dulwich College and Sandhurst. Gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, unattached, Indian Army, on the 10 th of October 1804. Attached to the. Was promoted Lieutenant on the 27 th November 1897, Captain on the 10 th of October 1903, and Major on the 10 th of October 1912. He served with the 45th Sikhs and the 40th Pathans and was posted to the 46th Punjabis on their formation. He took part in the operations on the N.W. Frontier of India, 1897- 8, including the Defence of Malakand, action at Landakai and operations in Bajaur (medal with two clasps), and in the Tirah Expedition 1897-8 (clasp), and was afterwards employed with the King’s African Rifles from the 25 th of November 1903 to 10 th of May 1906. After the outbreak of the European War, he was sent,in January 1915, with a double company to British East Africa and attaced to the 130th Baluchis (King George’s Own). He was commmanding a section of the outpost line with headquarters at Mzima on the Tsava River. While visiting sentry groups with an escort of seven men on the 12th of April 1915, he came on the spoor of a large party of Germans. He followed this up for some way in order to- locate the enemy. Whilst returning he was ambushed by a smaller party of Germans, who were following the main force, and he and two men were shot. He was buried on the banks of the Tsava River. The grave was marked by a cairn of stones; the two men who fell with him were buried by his side. A brother officer wrote: “I knew him for a fearless man. He was with my regiment in the Tirah Expedition in 1897. I have never met a braver soldier ”. Another wrote “His escort, Dogras and Gurkhas, five of whom managed to get away, all bear great testimony to his fearlessness and gallantry. He gave the orders with his last breath for his men to scatter; such is necessary in the bush. He is a great loss to us and to our country, we can ill spare such men.” He married, at Peshawar, N.W.P., on the 30 th of April 1913, Marion Balfour Crick, youngest daughter of. Frederick William Crick, M.A. rector of Litton Cheney, Dorset. Their daughter Anne Margaret was born on the 21 st of January 1914
Weller, Thomas Robert Born in July 1880 at Litton Cheney, son of John Weller and Mary Anne Scadden. Baptised on the 5 th of September 1880. Litton Cheney Bellringer. Thomas’s father died in January 1890. In the 1891 census he is living with his mother and grandmother. Thomas’s mother died in 1891. In the 1901 census he is shown as an assistant to dairyman Richard Fry. On the 1911 census he is shown as Tom Weller, aged 30, Farm Labourer, boarding at The Mount with the Trevett family. During the war he was a private, with the 1/1st Bucks Battalion, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Service No. 4802. He fought in Flanders, France and died on the 24 th of August 1916 Buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Plot IX. Row F. Grave 16A.
Family details HERE
Family details HERE
Family details HERE
Family details HERE
Family details HERE
Family details HERE
Family details HERE
Family details HERE
Family details HERE
The following nine names are recorded on the Litton Cheney War Memorial situated to the west of St Mary’s Church porch:
The following five casualties are not recorded on the Litton Cheney War Memorial but were associated with Litton Cheney:
Charles Henry James Burt Charles was born in Litton Cheney the son of Abraham and Sarah Burt. This must have been during a short period of residence there as his family stemmed from Halstock, Misterton and eventually Long Bredy. Although he was born in Litton Cheney, Charles does not appear on the Litton Cheney war memorial as his family were living in Long Bredy at the time of his death and, presumably, did not ask for his name to be included on the Litton memorial. During the war Arthur enlisted at Misterton and became a private in the Dorsetshire Regiment (5 th Battalion) Service No. 10557. He is buried in Aldershot Military Cemetery. Family details HERE
Albert John Hansford Albert John Hansford was born was born in 1886 at Litton Cheney, the son of Henry and Mary Hansford. He does not appear on the Litton Cheney war memorial. The family were living in Woodford, Essex at the time of his death so presumably they did not think to ask for his name to be included on the memorial at Litton Cheney. Before the war he and his elder brother, George Henry, went to Canada as farmers. He joined the Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment), 46 th Battalion, Service No. 426238. He was one of 765 who died on the 21 st of April 1918 during the Battle of the Lys or 4 th Battle of Ypres. He is buried at Roclincourt Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France His nephew Albert Henry died in 1942 in the Second World War. Family details HERE
John Mills His family tree traces John Mill’s ancestors back Samuel Cook “alias Bidgood”. The alias appearing on his marriage certificate! The family name changed to Mills on his second marriage to Harriet Mills. The family originated from Beaminster. John’s father, William Bidgood, moved to Litton Cheney sometime after 1871. John was born there in August 1878, the son of Willaim and Mary Mills. He married Louisa Rose Courteney on the 19 th of November 1908. They had four children before his untimely demise. During the war Sergeant John Mills was a member of 123 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, Service No. 10123. He died on the 18 th of June 1918 aged 39. He is buried at Crouy British Cemetery, Crouy-Sur-Somme, France. Family details HERE
De Ruvigny Roll of Honour
Louis John Pitcher Louis John Pitcher was born in 1885 at Litton Cheney, the son of Louis and Ellen Pitcher. He does not appear on the Litton Cheney war memorial, his association with the village being through his father, Louis, who owned the bakery at White Cross. The family were living in Winterborn Abbas at the time of his death so presumably they did not think to ask for his name to be included on the war memorial at Litton Cheney. During the war he was a sergeant farrier with 8 th Battery Royal Field Artillery, Service No.34255. He died at sea on the troopship SS “Dongola”on the 26 th of December 1914, aged 30. The reason for his death is unknown, SS Dongola was not sunk but remained in service until 1929 when it was broken up. He is commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton. Family details HERE
Arthur Thomas Prout Thomas Arthur Prout was born in Corscombe, Dorset, the son of Thomas and Mary Prout. He does not appear on the Litton Cheney war memorial, his association with the village being through his father, Thomas, and his grandfather, Levi, both of whom were born there. The family were living in Sherborne at the time of his death so his name appears on the memorial there rather than in Litton Cheney. During the war Arthur enlisted in Dorchester and was a private in the Dorsetshire Regiment (1/4 th Battalion), Service No. 201229. He died on the 2 nd of August 1918 in Mesopotamia, aged 24. He is buried at Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery in Iraq and is also commemorated on the Sherborne War Memorial. Family details HERE
Sherborne War Memorial
A detailed diary of events in Litton Cheney during the first world war can be read here
From the Western Gazette of 15th August 1919
THE PEACE CELEBRATIONS took place on August Bank Holiday. A procession formed in “Hill Tap” (Lent by Mr. G. Fry). The string band led the way under Bandmaster W. Oliver, then came the Union Jack borne by Mr. T Wakely followed by a number of decorated waggons, perambulators, bicycles, the Misses Bissett and Trevett's travelling show “Wanted, a House,” "Dick Whittington”, jesters, prehistoric man (Mr W. Moores), rag and bone men, fruit vendors, Service and Ex-service Men, air raid victims in very dainty attire, etc. and a large gathering of parishioners and visitors. The procession wended its way through Puddle Hole, under a profuse display of decorations, before coming to a halt at Lower Cross where prizes were handed out to the fancy dress winners. At 1 p.m. the Rector (the Rev. F. W. Crick) took the chair at a luncheon prepared by the ladies of the Entertainments Committee. The company numbered more than 70 and included demobilised men, all of whom were guests of the village for the day. "The King” was given from the chair and drunk with musical honours. Mr. T. Foot proposed the-toast of “Demobilised Men”. He extended a hearty welcome to them and paid a sincere tribute to their devotion to duty. Captain R. Bailey, Flight-Sergeant S Greening and Trooper H. Hounsell returned thanks for the way the toast was received. The Rector then spoke of “Our Fallen Parishioners”. The toast was received standing and in silence. Sports for the children, skittle matches and football matches &c. for the adults occupied the afternoon. An excellent tea was partaken at 4 p.m., the schoolroom being filled with the fair sex whilst men and children occupied a lawn nearby lent by Mrs Moores. The evening was marred by frequent showers and the programme of sports was not completed. Dancing was kept up from 8 till 11 p. m.
From the Western Gazette of 5th September 1919
PEACE CELEBRATION BALANCE-SHEET A meeting of the Memorial and Entertainments Committees, responsible for the day’s proceedings on August Bank Holiday, was held in the Sunday School on Friday evening. The Treasurer Mr. W. S. Miller presented the balance-sheet of the Entertainments Committee which showed a balance of approximately £12. This was considered most satisfactory. It was decided to present each child in the village with a peace souvenir from the balance in hand, the rest to be carried to the Memorial Fund. This fund was next dealt with and the Treasurer reported subscriptions amounting to £250. The Committee appointed the Chairman and Treasurer to obtain drawings and estimates of the cost for a suitable memorial in granite or marble, with the names of the fallen inscribed. The memorial to be erected on the rising ground at the entrance to the church. The drawings etc. are to be open to the inspection of public and the views of bereaved relatives to be particularly taken into account when a final choice of design is made. The Memorial Committee is comprised of the Rev. F. W. Crick (chairman) Messrs F Bailey, H. B. Legge, W. S Miller, A. Gladwyn and H. Fry. Those forming the Entertainments Committee being Mr. H. D. Legge (chairman), Missies B. Legge, M. Miller, F. Fry (The Green), V. Gladwyn, D. W. and I. Fry (Court Farm), Messrs R. Bailey, W. Darby, C. and H. Fry (The Green) A Gladwyn and G. W. Greening.
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SS Calliope
16.1.1920 A supplement to The London Gazette dated Saturday contains an account of deeds of conspicuous gallantry for which the Distinguished Conduct Medal was awarded in February last. Among them are the following: 377000 Pte. W. Darby 1/10th Bn. Mancbester. Rifles., T.F. (Litton Cheney). At Briaslre, on October 20, 1918, when an enemy machine gun was holding up the advance, he brought his Lewis gun into action, silencing the gun. Later, having reached the final objective, he promptly pushed forward to cover the consolidation. The enemy attempted to rush his gun. He killed four of them with his revolver, and his section killed the remainder.
HANSFORD,   ALBERT   JOHN,   Corpl., No. 426238, 46th Battn. South Saskatchewan Regt., Canadian Expeditionary Force, yr. s. of Hemy John Hansford, of Wood Farm, Eastwood, near Leigh-on-Sea, co. Essex, Farmer, by his wife, Mary Ann, daii.   of Robert Marks ; b. Litton Cheney, co. Dorset, 25 June, 1886 ; educ. Culmstock Grammar School; went to Canada in 1911, and settled at Stalwart, South Saskatchewan, as a Farmer; enlisted 31 Dec. 1914; came to England with the Contingent in Nov. 1915 ; served with the Expeditionary Force In France and Flanders from Aug. 1916, and was killed in action near Arras 21 April, 1918. Buried in Roclincourt Military Cemetery, north of Arras. An officer wrote : He was a man in a thousand; in all my experience in the Army 1 have never seen any man whose death was more keenly felt by his many friends, both officers and   .men   alike. He was recognized by all as a straight, God-fearing man, one who ever put his duty before self, and who was ever courteous and obliging to all.” He m. at Ferme Park Church, Hornsey, N., 30 Aug. 1917, Ada Elizabeth (6, North Yiew Road, Hornsey, N.), dau. of Frederick George Will- cocks; s.p.
IN MEMORIAM - World War 1
Photo by Claire Moore 3_7_2021