Service Number 8456, a Private in the 2nd Battalion of the Gloucester Regiment. Born in 1890, he was serving in the army in 1911, stationed in Malta. He died 26th February 1915 and his grave is I.B.II ETRETAT CHURCHYARD.
Service Number G/1962, a Private in the 8th Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment. Born in Mitcham in 1894, he was one of nine children and the son of Frederick Tapping – a General Labourer – and Emily Tapping of 51a, Cowper Road, Wimbledon. He enlisted at Wimbledon and died at Flanders 10th August 1917. His grave is VIII. E. 2. HOOGE CRATER CEMETERY.
Alfred Edward Tipping
Service Number 6755, a Rifleman in the 1st and 21st Battalion of the London Regiment (First Surrey Rifles). Born in 1894, he was one of seven children, and a ‘Blacksmith’s Boy’ by trade. He was the son of Joseph John Tipping – a Lamp Cleaner – and Annie Marie Tipping of 78, Hartfield Crescent, Wimbledon. He was baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Wimbledon on May 9th 1893 when the family were living in Pelham Road, Wimbledon. On May 23rd 1915, at the age of 22 and now a ‘hairdresser,’ he married Kathleen Louise Clifton aged 18, the daughter of Benjamin Clifton – an artist. They were married in All Saints’ Church, S. Wimbledon by the Rev. A.W. Beak and were now living at 33a, Deburgh Road, South Wimbledon. Alfred subsequently joined the army in Wimbledon. Near Ypres, on 4th November, the 21st London moved into the nearby front line trenches where they stayed until relieved on 8th November. The Battalion Diary is very sparing in detail in its record of this 4 day tour in the trenches and makes no mention of any casualties. But there were casualties, probably as a result of shellfire, and included among them was Alfred Tipping who was killed in action 4th November 1916. He is commemorated on Panel 54.YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL. His widow Kathleen received his effects – £8 5s 1d
Harry Owen Tovey
Service Number L/8739, a Private in the 4th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. Born in Merton in 1895, he was one of six children and a Gardener/Student Artist by trade. He was the son of Frederick Sommerville Tovey – a Chimney Sweep – and Elizabeth Ann Tovey of – at various times -234, Haydons Rd., Wimbledon, 41, South Road, S. Wimbledon, and 20, Cowper Road, S. Wimbledon. It was whilst the family were living at the latter address that Harry was baptised in All Saints’ Church, South Wimbledon by the Rev. Shewring on December 3rd 1905. Also baptised at the same time were his brothers William and Harold and his sister Nellie. He joined the army in Wimbledon and was involved in the Attack at Bellewaarde on 16th June, 1915. His regiment went ‘over the top’ at 4.15.p.m. but in the excitement and confusion of battle the attackers went ahead too quickly and were blown to bits by the covering British artillery fire. The 4th Royal Fusiliers suffered 369 casualties on this day, over half of them killed or missing. Harry’s body was never found and he was posted as ‘death presumed’ 16th June 1915. He was 20 years of age. He is commemorated on Panel 6 and 8.YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL. His effects – £8 14s – were sent to his father
Woodman George Trigg
Service Number 63287, a Ship’s Corporal 1st Class on the Royal Naval ship H.M.S. “Aboukir.” He was born at Loswithiel, Cornwall in about 1876, the son of Edmund Triggs, a carpenter. Woodman George was an ‘Enameller (Burner Iron Gas Engineer) by trade. He was the husband of Ada Emily Triggs (nee Wright born Camberwell 1879), of 63, Smallwood Road, Tooting, later of 20, Dryden Rd. Wimbledon. The couple were married at Emmanuel Church, Camberwell on May 7th 1902 when Woodman was serving in the Royal Navy as a Petty Officer 1st Class. They had six children: – Ada Sarah Louisa (born Camberwell 1903), George Woodman Arthur (born Camberwell 1905), Florence May (born Twickenham 1907), Edmund Charles (born Twickenham 1908), Valentine Ruby (born Twickenham 1909) and Albert Edward (born Tooting 1911). He rejoined the navy and died 22nd September 1914 at the age of 38 on the ‘Aboukir.’ His body was never recovered for burial but he is commemorated on 6. CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL.
H.M.S. Aboukir was a Cressy Class cruiser of the Royal Navy with a displacement of 12,000 tons. Armament: two 9.2 inch guns (bow & stern), twelve 6 inch quick-firers in a central battery and many more small quick-firers and machine guns. Speed: 21 knots. Launched 16th May 1900. HMS Aboukir, along with HMS Cressy and HMS Hogue, were all torpedoed by the German U-boat U9 on 22nd September 1914. Memorial cards were distributed for the men who died on HMS Aboukir.
Service Number G/60949, a Lance Corporal in the 7th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. Born in Chelsea about 1896, he was an errand boy and the son of George Upton – a stoker – and Alice Upton of 40, Dryden Road, Wimbledon, later of 9, Haydons Road, Wimbledon. He enlisted in Wimbledon and was killed in action at Haplincourt 24th March 1918 aged 24. He is commemorated in Bay 3 ARRAS MEMORIAL. His mother Alice received his effects of £21 15s 6d.
This is likely to have been a relative of George Wallace – possibly Arthur Reginald Wallace – a Lieutenant who died in aged 43 in Iraq 18th January 1919. He is buried in the BAGHDAD NORTH GATE CEMETERY.
Service Number 236474, a Leading Seaman on the Royal Naval Ship H.M.S. “Queen Mary.” He was born in Putney, the son of George Wallace – a Furniture Salesman – and Alice Wallace of 48, Wandle Bank, South Wimbledon. He died at Jutland 31st May 1916 at the age of 27. His body was not recovered for burial, but he is commemorated on 12. PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL. Charles Horace Bentley whose name appears also appears on our Memorial died on the same ship (see his entry for details)
Albert George West
Service Number 158117, a Sapper in the 256th Tunnelling Company of the Royal Engineers. He was the son of M. Jane Golding – formerly West – and the late James West and a native of Wimbledon Surrey. He died of gas poisoning 15th August 1916 at the age of 36 and his grave is III. D. 8. MAROEUIL BRITISH CEMETERY. According to the 1911 census the only Albert G West (Occupation – Gardener) of the correct age was in Lewes Jail at the time! His effects – £7 18s 3d – were sent to his widowed mother, Jane Golding.
Frederick T. White
Service Number 286191, a Plumber on the Royal Naval ship H.M.S. “Princess Irene.” He was the son of Thomas Drapes White – a Wheelwright – and Mary Anne White of 44, Hubert Road, Wimbledon, and the husband of Edith Margaret White of Granborough, Winslow, Bucks. He died in an internal explosion off Sheerness 27th May 1915 at the age of 38. He was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medals. He is commemorated on 9. PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL.
HMS Princess Irene was a 5,394 GRT ocean liner which was built in 1914 by William Denny and Brothers Ltd, Dumbarton, Scotland for the Canadian Pacific Railway. She was requisitioned by the Royal Navy on completion and converted to an auxiliary minelayer. In May 1915, Princess Irene was moored in Saltpan Reach, on the Medway Estuary in Kent between Port Victoria and Sheerness, being loaded with mines in preparation for deployment on a minelaying mission. At 11:14 GMT on 27 May, Princess Irene exploded and disintegrated. A column of flame 300 feet (91 m) high was followed a few seconds later by another of similar height and a pall of smoke hung over the spot where Princess Irene had been, reaching to 1,200 feet (370 m). Two barges laying alongside her were also destroyed. A total of 352 people were killed, including 273 officers and men, and 76 dockyard workers who were on board Princess Irene. On the Isle of Grain a girl of nine was killed by flying débris, and a farmhand died of shock. A collier half a mile (800 m) away had its crane blown off its mountings. A part of one of Princess Irene’s boilers landed on the ship; a man working on the ship died from injuries sustained when he was struck by a piece of metal weighing 70 pounds (32 kg). Wreckage was flung up to 20 miles (32 km) away, with people near Sittingbourne being injured by flying débris. Severed heads were found at Hartlip and on the Isle of Grain. A case of butter landed at Rainham, 6 miles (9.7 km) away. A 10 ton (10,160 kg) section of the ship landed on the Isle of Grain. A Court of Inquiry was held into the loss of Princess Irene. Evidence was given that priming of the mines was being carried out hurriedly and by untrained personnel. A faulty primer was blamed for the explosion.
William Peter Wilde
Service Number 44065, a Private in the 10th Battalion of the Essex Regiment. Born in Wimbledon in 1899, he was one of seven children and the son of Petter Wilde (born Walworth 1874 – a Bricklayer’s Labourer), and Mary Anne Wilde (born Holloway 1877) of 33, Cowper Road, South Wimbledon. The family had seven children in 1911 (one had previously died): – Annie Wilde (born Wimbledon 1897), Mary Ann Wilde (born Wimbledon 1898), William Peter Wilde (born Wimbledon 1899), Matthew Wilde (born Mitcham 1903), George Wilde (born Wimbledon 1907), Lizzy Ivy Wilde (born Wimbledon 1908) and Kitty Amelia Wilde (born Wimbledon 1911). William died at Flanders 8th August 1918 at the age of 19. His grave is III. A. 23. DIVE COPSE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAILLY-LE-SEC
Service Number 2059, a Private in the 1st Battalion of the London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). Born in Tooting in 1886, he was an ‘Explosives Merchant’s Clerk’ by trade. He was the son of Robert Shepherd Williams – a Retired Accountant Clerk – and Florence Shackleton Williams of 48, South Park Rd., Wimbledon, London. On 9th May 1915 the British attacked north at Arras as part of the British contribution to the Second Battle of Artois, a Franco-British offensive. Their objective was the capture of Aubers Ridge but it turned into an unmitigated disaster. The attack went in at 5.50am and 40 minutes later the 1st London moved up in platoon rushes and across fire swept, open ground to the front line, a move that resulted in over 120 casualties just among those on the right. Targeted by German artillery, clogged by wounded and with many of the men from the attacking battalions falling back to it, the front line was in chaos and at 9am, 1st London was withdrawn to the cross roads at Rue du Quesnes and then back to billets at Bac St Maur with casualties amounting to 200. Herbert’s death is recorded as being on 10th May 1915, but it is likely that he died a day earlier. He was 29 years of age. The Sanctuary Lamp in the S. Michael’s Chapel of All Saints’ Church was given in his memory and he is commemorated on Panel 10. PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL
Robert Arthur Wood
Service Number 69674, a Private in the 17th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. He was born in Soho, London, in 1899 and was a Newsboy. He was the son of Arthur Wood – a Portmanteau Maker – and Lydia Wood of 64, Hubert Road, S. Wimbledon. He died in France of wounds 25th March 1918 at the age of 19. His grave is XXXI. H. 10A.ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY £12 7s 1d (his effects) was sent to his father.
Service Number K/6995, a Stoker 1st Class on the Royal Naval ship H.M.S. “Mary Rose.” Born in Wimbledon in 1889, he was the son of George and Susannah Wooster, of 33, Motley St., Battersea. Before the war he had served as a stoker on board the H.M.S ‘S. George’ at Grimsby. He died at sea 17th October 1917 at the age of 29. His commemoration is on 24. CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL
HMS Mary Rose, launched on 8 October 1915, was an Admiralty M-class destroyer. She was sunk on 17 October 1917 approximately 70 miles east of Lerwick while escorting a convoy of 12 merchant ships from Norway. The wreck is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986. The convoy had sailed Norway on 16 October; at dawn on the following day, the captain of the Mary Rose, Lieutenant-Commander Fox, observed two warships approaching. Their profiles and dark-grey colour led him to assume they were British light-cruisers, and recognition signals were duly transmitted. The approaching ships were in fact the German cruisers SMS Brummer and SMS Bremse, despatched as part of a plan by Admiral Reinhard Scheer to supplement U-boats with high speed surface raiders. Mary Rose was hit in the engine room shortly afterwards, and disabled. Sub-Lieutenenant Marsh, RNVR, maintained fire with the one gun left operational, while the only two surviving members of the torpedo crew, French and Bailey, were able to fire the last remaining torpedo, but to no avail. With further salvoes wrecking the superstructure, Fox ordered Master Gunner Handcock to scuttle the ship. The ship’s boats reduced to matchwood, only a handful of men survived by clinging to a raft.