Results of research carried out by Ann Laird into war dead from the parish of Nursling and Rownhams.
World War 1
|Note - Edward W. Hancock is commenmorated on both Rownhams & Nursling memorials|
The tributes to the men on the Nursling memorial will continue next month with Alfred Wise, but with so many events going on to mark the centenary of war being declared, I felt it right to point out some local places with particular relevance at this time.
You don’t need to go to Belgium or France to find military cemeteries. There is an extremely moving one down at Netley, by the site of the old Military Hospital (where Wilfred Owen was treated). It features over six hundred WWI burials, including Belgian casualties. Did you know there was an army cyclist corps? One of those is commemorated at Netley. Hollybrook memorial (just on the right by the entrance to Hollybrook cemetery,) commemorates by name almost 1,900 servicemen and women of the Commonwealth land and air forces who have no known grave. Lord Kitchener is honoured here, along with members of the South African Labour Corps who died in a troop ship collision. The place I find most moving is at St Nicholas’s Church, Brockenhurst, where nearly a hundred New Zealand troops are commemorated, along with some Indian and Belgian civilians. There was a large hospital nearby and one of the Indian casualties, Sukha, had come to serve there. His memorial reads, “BY CREED HE WAS NOT CHRISTIAN BUT THIS EARTHLY LIFE WAS SACRIFICED IN THE INTERESTS OF OTHERS”.
The Museum of Army Chaplaincy at Amport is a little hidden gem. Its displays include poignant Far East POW items, (I got very choked at the sight of the chalice and communion plate they’d used in Korea) and the stories of the four chaplains who have been awarded the Victoria Cross. The WWI items are evocative, especially those concerning Toc H and its founder Tubby Clayton. If you want to visit, it’s best to make an appointment with the curator in advance. Chances are you’ll get a personal guided tour, as I was fortunate to receive. Maybe you’ll find the experience as profoundly spiritual as I did.
I’ve completed the articles on the WWI casualties listed on our two war memorials, but I don’t feel the job is finished. There are three more war graves in the Rownhams churchyard, and I’d like to commemorate those soldiers over the next few months. Rownhams is listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site; it has four ‘scattered graves’ for which there are specific maintenance instructions. The first three of the casualties listed below are mentioned on the CWGC site and the fourth is classified as a non war grave, although it has the typical Portland gravestone, as does the WWII casualty. (The two WWI graves have Botticino headstones.)
'Our' graves belong to:
Edwin Charles Andrews, Second Lieutenant in the Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), who died on 12th August 1918 and whose story has featured in this series.
Anthony George Mead, Lieutenant, 'Special List attd. Inland Waterways and Docks Royal Engineers who died on 26th May 1919.
William George Harle, Corporal in the Royal Air Force (Auxiliary Air Force), who died on 13th August 1944.
The Honourable Gerald William Clegg Hill, Captain in the Royal Tank regiment, died 12th July 1962.
There are also war graves at several local graveyards, including Braishfield, Timsbury, Romsey, North Baddesley, Michelmersh, Chilworth and Ampfield.
Sources include Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Forces War Records.
Last updated 13/11/15