by Janis on 9th November 2018 / 2 comments

100 years of remembrance in our village

To the majority of people in the UK, there is only one Eccles, and that’s in Manchester. Ohh, and it also has its own cake named after it.

However, to us there’s a little village in the South East of England, also named Eccles, which we call home.

Just like so many other hamlets, villages & towns in the UK, we have our own war memorial.

Solely dedicated to those who lost their lives from our village, during the First and Second World Wars.

Day in and day out us locals wander past, barely noticing that time is eroding not only the names but the memories as well.

The Pin image to our post - 'Eccles War Memorial, Kent, England'
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Where they are remebered

Lest we forget

The sacrifices made
To show our respect to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, Gary and I decided that we will remember our lost villagers this Centenary year. Rather than just being a name on a memorial, we found out a little bit more about them.
Wild bright red poppies against a background of desaturated green grasses
Poppies - the symbol of remembrance
We wanted to ensure that the details that we found out about each serviceman were accurate, to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. Therefore, we were unable to find the definitive records to 9 out of the 33 names inscribed on the memorial. However, we will continue to research their final honoured resting place.

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Travel & Remembrance

Freedom comes at a price
Earlier in 2018 Gary and I went to Belgium and experienced the Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony in Ypres, and also visited the Tyne Cot memorial. From there we headed to France and explored areas around the Somme and Amiens.
The buglers from The Last Post Association performing the Last post under the Menin Gate in the Belgium town of Ypres
The buglers from The Last Post Association at the Menin Gate
We find this poignant time in history very interesting, and It is extremely moving to visit these areas in Europe.

Your local War Memorial

Our heroes
I have listed the honoured men in alphabetical order, although not the order they appear on the actual memorial.
The list of names on the Eccles War Memorial from the first world war carved in stone on the Eccles War Memorial
The list of names on the Eccles War Memorial

Name: Charles H V Barden

Regiment: Royal Field Artillery

Rank: Acting Bombardier

Passed Away: 29th March 1920

Age: 31

Where they are remembered: St Peter & St Paul’s Churchyard, Aylesford, Kent

Where they lived: Eccles Row, Eccles, Kent

Looking through the Menin Gate in the Belgium town of Ypres on a bright sunny day under deep blue skies

The Menin Gate

Name: George Isaac G Barden

Regiment: Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 6th May 1915

Age: 36

Where they are remembered: Ypres Memorial – Menin Gate, Belgium

Where they lived: Bull Cottages, Eccles, Kent

The bronze poppy wreath on a plinth on an island in front of the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium
The memorial wreath in front of the Menin Gate

Name: William Brook

Regiment: Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 3rd October 1916

Age: 21

Where they are remembered :Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery, Somme, France

Where they lived: Eccles, Kent

The headstone to Private William Brook in the Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery in the Somme region of France
The headstone to Private William Brook
The looking over the back of the headstones to the Cross of Sacrifice in the Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery, France
The Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery in the Somme

The sadness of war

Brothers in Arms
These two gentlemen below died on the same day, same regiment, same memorial;
The view from the entrance of Loos Memorial in France, over the rows and rows of headstones, to the Cross of Cacrifice in the distance.
The Loos Memorial

Name: Alfred Henry George Phillip Brown

Regiment: The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 28th September 1915

Age: 28

Where they are remembered: Loos Memorial, France

Where they lived: Eccles, Kent

Alfred Brown's name carved into the Portland stone of the Loos Memorial in France
The memorial to Alfred Henry George Phillip Brown, Loos Memorial

Name: James Butcher

Regiment: The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 28th September 1915

Age: 21

Where they are remembered: Loos Memorial, France

Where they lived: Victoria Street, Eccles, Kent

James Butcher's name carved into the Portland stone of the Loos Memorial in France
The memorial to James Butcher, Loos Memorial, France

Exploring our war memorial

Every name a story

Name: Sydney G Chevous

Regiment: The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 7th October 1916

Age: 19

Where they are remembered: Bancourt British Cemetery, France

Where they lived: Belgrave Street, Eccles

A Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone for Sydney G Chevous of the Kent Buffs in the Bancourt British Cemetery, France
The headstone to Sydney G Chevous
The Bancourt British Cemetery in France overlooking rows of headstones with the Stone of Remembrance in the foreground and the Cross of Sacrifice in the distance.
The Bancourt British Cemetery

Name: Henry Elliott

Regiment: Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 4th August 1916

Age: 22

Where they are remembered: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Where they lived: Eccles, Kent

The Cross of Sacrifice in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in front of the Thiepval Memorial
The Cross of Sacrifice in front of the Thiepval Memorial

Name: Charles Grigsby

Regiment: Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 22nd February 1915

Age: 35

Where they are remembered: St Peter & St Paul’s Churchyard, Aylesford Kent

Where they lived: Eccles, Kent

Name: Jesse Hills

Regiment: Machine Gun Corps

Rank: Corporal

Passed Away: 5th May 1918

Age: 29

Where they are remembered: Étaples Military Cemetery, France

Where they lived: Eccles, Kent

The headstone to Jesse Hills in the Étaples Military Cemetery in France
The headstone to Jesse Hills (MM)
The Étaples Military Cemetery overlooking rows of headstones to the grand entrance to France's largest Commonwealth War Grave
Étaples Military Cemetery

Name: Edwin Leonard J Ivell

Regiment: Royal Naval Reserve – H.M.S. Pembroke

Rank: Deck Hand

Passed Away: 17th October 1917

Age: 34

Where they are remembered: Grimsby (Scartho Road) Cemetery, England

Where they lived: Belgrave Street, Eccles, Kent

Name: Charles Edward Jones

Regiment: Royal Field Artillery

Rank: Driver

Passed Away: 30th October 1918

Age: 29

Where they are remembered: Roisel Communal Cemetery, Somme, France

Where they lived: Varnes Street, Eccles, Kent

Name: Ernest Marks

Regiment: The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 19th July 1915

Age: 20

Where they are remembered: Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France

Where they lived: Varnes Street, Eccles, Kent

The significantly faded headstone of Ernest Marks in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension in France
The faded headstone of Ernest Marks
The Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension on a crisp autumnal day in the north of France
The Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension

Name: Hamilton Herries Milligan

Regiment: Royal Navy – H.M.S. “Mary Rose”

Rank: Officer’s Cook 2nd Class

Passed Away: 17th October 1917

Age: 29

Where they are remembered: Chatham Naval Memorial, Chatham, Kent

Where they lived: Eccles, Kent

The brass plaque with the dedication to Hamilton Herries Milligan, Officers Cook, on the Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent
Hamilton Herries Milligan memorial at Chatham Naval Memorial
A stone sailor at one end of a curved wall, each section its own brass plaque, detailing the names & ranks of those lost at sea.
Chatham Naval Memorial

The terrible battles of Passchendaele

Remembered at Tyne Cot

Name: Harry Leonard Neville

Regiment: Middlesex Regiment

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 16th August 1917

Age: 37

Where they are remembered: Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium

Where they lived: Mackenders Lane, Eccles, Kent

The view of the Cross of Sacrifice Across rows of gravestones at Tyne Cott, Belgium
The Cross of Sacrifice at Tyne Cott
A mass of poppy wreathA mass of poppy wreaths in front of the Stone of Remembrance at Tyne Cott Military Cemetery in Belgiums in front of the Stone fo Remembrance at Tyne Cott Military Cemetery in Belgium
The Stone of Remembrance at Tyne Cott

Like so much of the country

So many, from one small village
Eccles is a small village of under 800 homes, at the start of world war one it was much smaller.
A close-up of a sepia map of the tiny village of Eccles from the mid 19th century
A historic map of Eccles

Name: Leonard William Payne

Regiment: Royal Fusiliers

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 23rd March 1918

Age: 21

Where they are remembered: Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France

Where they lived: Cork Street, Eccles, Kent

The memorial to Leonard William Payne in the Pozieres Military Cemetery in France
The memorial to Leonard William Payne
The grand stone entrance gates to the Pozieres Memorial in the Somme, France
The Gates to the Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France

Name: Bert Saunders

Regiment:The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 18th March 1916

Age: 28

Where they are remembered: Loos Memorial, France

Where they lived: Varnes Street, Eccles, Kent

Bert Saunders remembered on the Memorial wall of Loos Military Cemetery, France
The memorial to Bert Saunders
The Memoria Wall either side of the Cross of Sacrifice at the Loos Military Cemetery, France
The Cross of Sacrifice in the Loos Memorial, France

Name: Henry Sales

Regiment: Royal Navy – H.M.S. “Pathfinder”

Rank: Petty Officer Stoker

Passed Away: 5th September 1914

Age: 35

Where they are remembered: Chatham Naval Memorial, Chatham, Kent

Where they lived: Varnes Street, Eccles, Kent

The obelisk at Chatham Naval Memorial
WWI Portland stone obelisk in Chatham Naval Memorial

Something we learned

H.M.S. Pathfinder was the first ship in history to be sunk by a torpedo fired from a submarine. 260 men were lost, of whom 244 are commemorated at Chatham Naval Memorial.

Name: William George Thomas Smith

Regiment: Gloucestershire Regiment

Rank: Corporal

Passed Away: 30th June 1918

Age: 27

Where they are remembered: Aire Communal Cemetery, France

Where they lived: Varnes Street, Eccles, Kent

The headstone of Cpl Williams G T Smith in the Aire Communal Cemetery, France
The headstone of Cpl Williams G T Smith
The view across the Commonwealth War Graves at the Aire Communal Cemetery, France
The British war graves at the Aire Communal Cemetery, France

Name: William Herbert Tassell

Regiment: Royal Fusiliers

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 20th May 1917

Age: 27

Where they are remembered: Arras Memorial, France

Where they lived: Eccles, Kent

William Herbert Tassell remembered on the Memorial wall of Arras Military Cemetery, France
The memorial to William Herbert Tassell at the Arras Memorial
The view across the headstones to the Memorial Wall at the Arras Military Cemetery, France
The Arras Memorial, France

Name: Ernest Henry Williams

Regiment: Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 29th September 1916

Age: 20

Where they are remembered: Connaught Cemetery, Theipval, Somme, France

Where they lived: Victoria Street, Eccles, Kent

The headstone of Ernest Henry Williams in Connaught Military Cemetery in the Somme, France
The headstone to Ernest Henry Williams in Connaught Cemetery
The entrance gates to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Connaught Cemetery in the Somme, France
The Connaught Cemetery, Theipval, Somme, France

Name: William Wolfe

Regiment: Middlesex Regiment

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 15th September 1916

Age: 19

Where they are remembered: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Where they lived: Belgrave Street, Eccles, Kent

The Stone of Remembrance underneath the central arch of the Thiepval Memorial, Thiepval, France
Thiepval Memorial, France

War Heroes

To be Remembered

Invaluable information; when compiling my research, I used the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. They are an amazing organisation that honour the 1.7 million men and women, who died during the First and Second World Wars

A view over rows of headstones to the memorial wall of the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium
Tyne Cot Memorial, Tyne Cot, Passchendaele, Belgium

They maintain the cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations around the world.

One Kent regiment

The Buffs
While finding out a little bit more about the villagers, I noticed that a few of the Eccles servicemen fought for The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Then as I started to compare a little more, it was clear that a few even fought together.
Regimental banners hanging in the Buffs chapel in Canterbury Cathedral
The Buffs Chapel
Six of the villagers are honoured in the same memorial in Loos. However, what I found incredibly touching was that the three gentlemen below, all died on the same day, and they are from the same regiment and inscribed on the same memorial. Probably these guys all knew each other as they lived around the same streets.

Name: Benjamin Huggins

Regiment: The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

Rank: Lance Corporal

Passed Away: 13th October 1915

Age: 29

Where they are remembered:Loos Memorial, France

Where they lived: Belgrave Street, Eccles, Kent

Benjamin Huggins's name carved into the Portland stone of the Loos Memorial in France
The memorial to Benjamin Huggins

Name: Charles E Tupper

Regiment:The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 13th October 1915

Age: 21

Where they are remembered: Loos Memorial, France

Where they lived: Alma Road, Eccles, Kent

Charles E Tupper remembered on the Memorial wall of Loos Military Cemetery, France
The memorial to Charles E Tupper

Name: Isaac Alfred Wheeler

Regiment: The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

Rank: Private

Passed Away: 13th October 1915

Age:25

Where they are remembered: Loos Memorial, France

Where they lived: Eccles, Kent

Isaac Alfred Wheeler remembered on the Memorial wall of Loos Military Cemetery, France
The memorial to Isaac Alfred Wheeler

Have You?

Visited any World War I memorials or experienced the incredible Last Post ceremony held at the Menin Gate in Ypres at 8pm every evening?

The ones I could not trace

But they are not forgotten
These nine gentlemen I am yet to confirm where they are honoured.

Benjamin Betts
Henry Hills
Albert Head
Edward Hawkes
Samuel Jenner
Sydney J Russell
Charles Saunders
Albert Sales
Frederick Smith

A headstone to an unknown soldier bearing the inscription 'A Soldier of the Great War'
A Soldier of the Great War
However, I will track them down, they will not be forgotten.

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    1. Author

      Thank you, it was a pleasure to create the post and incredibly fascinating discovering the touching tales behind our villager’s sacrifices.

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