World War I Casualties

BENYON, Joseph

Regiment:  1st/4th Cheshire Regiment 

Rank: L. Corporal

Number: 18458

Died: 4th May 1917

Aged: 33

Buried/ Memorial: Savona Town Cemetery, Italy

Address: 4 Griffiths Terrace, Hoole (1911 Census)
Mother lived at 80 Westminster Road, Hoole

Chester Chronicle 30/06/17  

"News has been received that Lance Corporal Joseph Benyon, of the Cheshire Regiment, has lost his life at sea.  L. Corp. Benyon, whose mother lives at 80 Westminster Road, Hoole, was on a transport which was sunk and his body has been found and buried in Italy.  He had been in the forces for nearly two years, and had been wounded three times.  Previous to joining the army he was employed at Port Sunlight.  He was highly esteemed by all his friends and was well known in Hoole, where he formally lived with his mother.  Much sympathy will be extended to his relatives.  He leaves a widow and four young children who are at present living in Birkenhead, a mother and several brothers and sisters."

The 1911 Census shows Joseph, wife Lorna and children Robert, Emily and Joseph at 4 Griffiths Terrace, Hoole and indicates that he was employed by the Co-Operative Society at that time.


The “Golden Book” of the Port Sunlight War Memorial confirms that he was latterly employed by Lever Brothers at Port Sunlight. 

BOWE, James Edward

Regiment: 7th Btn. South Lancashire Regiment

Rank: Private

Number: 40307

Died: 22/09/17

Aged: 24

Buried/ Memorial: Bedford House Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium

Address: 77 New Faulkner Street, Hoole

Chester Chronicle 13/10/17

Private J.E. Bowe, Killed in Action

"The sad news came to hand on Friday of the death of Private J.E. (Eddie) Bowe, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Bowe, of 77 New Faulkner Street, Hoole, Chester.  The following letters have been received from his Captain and the sergeant of his platoon, - “1st Oct., 1917.  Dear Mr. Bowe, - The sad news of the death of your son will have reached you by now.  I hope and trust that it will ease your sorrow a little when I tell you that he died nobly and uncomplaining doing his duty, and that it is due to his sacrifice and to the sacrifice of many of his comrades that our line is still advancing and peace thereby brought nearer.  He was of real assistance to me in the company, and would have earned early promotion.  He was buried by his comrades close to where he fell, and as soon as time permit I will see that a more permanent cross is erected to mark the place than the temporary one we were only able to put up at the time.  - Sincerely yours S.B. Schwabe (Capt.),”  

“Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bowe, - Being platoon sergeant of your son’s platoon, I feel it is my duty to write these few lines to inform you of his death, which occurred on the night of 21st September.  We were holding a certain part of the line when a German shell dropped in the trench killing your son instantly.  We are more than sorry to lose such a good soldier and comrade, for he was liked by everybody that came in to contact with him.  We did all that was possible for him and buried him as decently as was possible under the circumstances.  Hoping that this will be of some slight consolation to you in your sad loss.  – I remain, yours very sincerely, Sergt. B. Jarram”.

He joined the S. Lancashire Regiment on March 1st, and after three months’ training at Barrow-in-Furness went to France on June 20th.  A month after he was attached to the Royal Engineers.  Previous to joining the army he was in the service of the L. and N.W. Railway Co.  as Checker at Queen’s Ferry, and had been in the service of the Railway Co. from boyhood.  His death is a sad loss to the Primitive Methodist Church, Hamilton Street, Hoole, with which he was very closely associated, especially with the Young Men’s Bible Class, which he served as organist.  He took deep interest in the activates of the church, and particularly in temperance work.  His life was full of promise, and he was held in high esteem by a wide circle of friends who deeply mourn his loss.  Much sympathy is felt for his father and mother, his brother and other relatives, in their great sorrow."


Regiment: 1st/5th Bn. South Lancashire Regiment

Rank: Rifleman

Number: 265036

Died: 20/09/18

Aged: 23
Buried/ Memorial: Loos Memorial, France
Address: 8 Sumpter Pathway, Hoole


Chester Chronicle 19/10/18

Pte. E. Burghall
"Pte. E. Burghall, South Lancs. Reg., whose home is at 8, Sumpter Pathway, Hoole, was killed in action on September 20th."

Summary of Army Service Records

Edgar’s military service seems somewhat complicated and not all records have survived. Indeed there seemed to be some confusion at the time as there is correspondence between the Infantry Record Office and his wife, Eva, during 1919-20.

However it seems that he saw service first with 5 Bn Cheshire Regiment enlisting on 10 September 1914 and arriving in France on 14 February 2015.
He was discharged and then re-enlisted with the 10 (Scottish) Bn King’s (Liverpool) Regiment on 25 November 1915. He was posted to a Provisional Battalion and promoted to Lance Corporal but reverted to rank of Private on 29 May 1916 at his own request.

He was eventually posted to the 14 Bn South Lancashire Regiment and arrived in France again, this time on 2 November 1917.
He quickly moved from 8 Bn South Lancs to the 2/5 South Lancs on 7 November 1917. Finally he moved to 1/5 Bn South Lancs on 1 February 1918.

On 9 April 1918 he was wounded in the neck necessitating a month at various bases in France before re-joining 1/5 South Lancs on 10 May 1918 until 20 September 1918.

The 1911 Census shows Edgar as a 15 year old bookseller’s assistant living with his family, father Edgar, mother Eliza, brothers Henry and Robert and sister Gertrude along with three boarders at 22 Charles Street.

Commonwealth War Graves records show his parents at 1 Derby Place Hoole and his wife Eva in Great Yarmouth in the 1920’s.


Regiment:  King’s Liverpool attached 15 Bn Lancashire Fusiliers

Rank: 2nd Lieutenant

Died: 30

September 1918 Aged: 30

Buried/Memorial: Uplands Cemetery Magny La Fosse France

Address: 19 Hamilton Street, Hoole (1911 Census)


Photo Birkenhead News 19.10.1918
With very special thanks to David Horne

Cheshire Observer 19/10/19

Pro Patria Lieut Thomas Carline

"Heartfelt sympathy will be extended to Mr and Mrs John Carline of Lea Holmes Lea by Backford on the loss of their third son Lieut Thomas Carline, Kings Liverpool Regiment killed in action on September 30th. The late lieutenant was well known to the followers of the Chester Football Club where he occupied the position of goalkeeper a year or so before the war. Lieut Carline volunteered in August 1914 joining the “Liverpool Pals”. He soon became a great favourite with his regiment and before embarking for France in 1915 had been made a sergeant. Through the terrible battles of the Somme he passed unscathed. He was subsequently appointed Company Quartermaster Sergeant and remained in France until December 1917 when he came home to train for a commission which he afterwards received. At the time of his receiving orders for abroad in Sept last he was stationed at Henham Park Camp Wangford Suffolk. He was known as a good sportsman, large hearted, cheerful, brave, a typical Englishman. “We have got them licked” was his smiling reply to all enquiries as to the progress of the war. In civil life the late lieutenant was a clerk employed by Messrs. Lever Brothers, Liver Buildings, Liverpool. In December last Lieut Carline married Miss Edith Marian Hallam of Port Sunlight to whom the deepest sympathy is expressed. Mr John Carline it will be remembered retired from the post of chief clerk at Chester Post Office in 1910."


Liverpool Post & Mercury 18/10/18

Killed in Action

"CARLINE – September 30, killed in action, aged 30 years, Sec-Lieut TOM CARLINE, Lancashire Fusiliers, late Pals, the dearly loved husband of Edith Marian Carline, 16 Church Drive Port Sunlight."

According to "On the Borderline: Official History of Chester City F.C." by Chas Sumner, Thomas played 28 times in goal for Chester FC during seasons 1912-13 and 1913-14. These included 23 Lancashire Combination league games, 3 FA Cup and 2 Welsh Cup ties.

CATLEY, Reginald Robert 

Regiment:  Royal Field Artillery

Rank: Gunner

Number: 1009

Died: 26/09/14 

Aged: 17

Buried/ Memorial:  Chester (Overleigh) Cemetery

Address:  16 Hamilton Street, Hoole

Chester Chronicle 3/10/14
Chester Artilleryman’s Death - Sad Incident at Northampton

"On Saturday morning at Northampton occurred the death of Gunner Reginald Catley at the 1st Battalion Cheshire Royal Field Artillery.  He was the son of Robert [and Mary] Catley, watchmaker and jeweller who used to have a shop on the Cross, Chester.  He was billeted at 3 Alcombe Terrace and had been in good health until struck down with appendicitis. On Thursday evening he was taken to Northampton General Hospital.  As he went worse an operation became the only hope and his mother was telegraphed for. He was at once operated upon but despite every attention he died on the Saturday. His mother arrived in Northampton on Friday and was with her son to the last. Gunner Catley was an extremely popular young fellow in the Battery.  On Tuesday night a full military funeral was held in his honour from the hospital to the station.

Military Funeral - The funeral took place at Chester on Tuesday. The service was at All Saints Church, and a detachment of 60 recruits commanded by Capt Gardner and Lieut Walmsley, together with Sergt May and Instructor Spencer of the Depot Cheshire Brigade R.F.A., assembled to pay military honours to the deceased. The coffin was met at the home of the deceased by the soldiers who accompanied the cortege to the church. The Rev E A Pavitt (vicar of Hoole) officiated assisted by Rev R C Morrison. The service was very impressive. Coun R Pinnington (chairman of the Hoole U.D.C.) and Mr and Mrs Samuel Britain and Mr Lipsham were present. Mr Hamilton, the organist, played the “Dead March” in “Saul” after the service, and as the coffin left the church Chopin’s “Funeral March”.


The mourners included the father and mother of the deceased (Mr and Mrs Robert Catley) Ethel, Dorothy, Connie and Gertie, Mr and Mrs Brittain and Godfrey, Mrs Parry, Mrs Crimes and Mr Harry Price. Wreaths were sent by the members of the Cheshire Brigade R.F.A., the officers and men of the Depot Cheshire Brigade R.F.A., the NCOs and men of the 1st Cheshire Brigade R.F.A. (T), and many personal friends.The interment took place at the Cemetery, and the streets of the city en route were lined with sorrowful and sympathising spectators. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs W H Hallmark and Son."

Sympathy from their Majesties. Mrs Catley has received a large number of letters expressing sympathy including one from the King and Queen. This runs “The King commands me to assure you of the true sympathy of his Majesty and the Queen in your sorrow. – Kitchener”.

Cheshire Observer 19/09/14
Chester Old Scouts Club

"There are only 20 members of this club, and the following eleven are now on service : ….R Catley (R.F.A.) …..etc."

Reginald Catley's Army Service Records show that he had enlisted in the Cheshire Brigade Royal Field Artillery Territorials prior to the war on 15 May 1914 and was embodied on 5 August 1914 the day after war was declared.


The 1911 Census shows Reginald as a 14 year old schoolboy living at 16 Hamilton Street with his father Robert, a watchmaker, mother Mary and sisters, Dorothy, Constance and Gertrude.  


DAWSON, Sydney James

Regiment: 1st/4th Btn. King’s Shropshire Light Infantry

Rank: Private

Number: 31490

Died: 26/03/18

Aged: 19

Buried/ Memorial: Arras Memorial, France

Address: 37 Faulkner Street, Hoole

Cheshire Observer 6/04/18

"We regret to state that Private Sydney Dawson, only son of Mr and Mrs Dawson, Faulkner Street Hoole is reported missing. News of his whereabouts is anxiously awaited by his parents."


Chester Chronicle 13/04/18

Pte. S. Dawson, Hoole (Missing)

"We regret to hear that Pte. Syd. Dawson, Shropshire Light Infantry, only son of Mr. and Mrs. E.H. Dawson, Faulkner Street, Hoole, is reported missing.  Mr Dawson has received an intimation to this effect from his son’s regiment.  Dawson joined the army in June and is 19 years of age.  He is an All Saints old school boy.  Sympathy will be extended to his parents in their anxiety."


The 1911 Census shows Sydney as a 12 year old schoolboy at home with his parents at 37 Faulkner Street where his father, Edmund is running a newsagent & tobacconists with mother Emily assisting in the business.


DICKINSON, William  


Regiment:  5th Cheshire then Army Cyclist Corps – Welsh Division, Cyclist Company

Rank: Private

Number: 165

Died: 23/08/15

Aged: 20

Buried/ Memorial: Helles Memorial, Turkey

Address:  63 Clare Avenue, Hoole

Chester Chronicle 18/09/15

Another Hoole Soldier Killed

"Another Hoole soldier has laid down his life for his country in the person of Pte. William Dickinson, Clare Avenue, Hoole.  Deceased who was 23 [sic] years of age, joined the 5th Cheshires shortly after the outbreak of war, and three months ago was drafted to Gallipoli.  The parents [Mr & Mrs W. S. Dickinson] received official notification of his death in action at Gallipoli on Friday last. Deceased, before enlisting, was employed at Messrs. T. G. Burrell’s, Foregate Street, where he had served his apprenticeship.  He afterwards worked as an improver there.  He was well liked and esteemed by all who knew him and was an excellent worker.  Much sympathy is extended to the family in their bereavement."


The 1911 Census shows William as a fifteen year old clothier’s apprentice living with his family, father Walter, mother Ann, brothers Frederick, Harry and Robert and sister Lucy at 78 William Street Hoole.


DINWIDDIE, Frederick


Regiment:  2 Bn Royal Scots (Lothian)

Rank: Private

Number: 27296

Died: 24 July 1916

Aged: 35

Buried/Memorial: Etaples Military Cemetery

Address: 75 Hoole Road

Cheshire Observer  5/08/16

Hoole Resident Killed

"We deeply regret to learn that official intimation has been received that Private Fred Dinwiddie of the Royal Scots has passed away in a Canadian hospital at the Front from wounds received in action. He had been a resident in Hoole for about nine years and had a wide circle of friends by whom he was held in the highest esteem. The gallant soldier was the youngest son of of Mr James Dinwiddie and Mrs Dinwiddie Newmanse Kirkmahoe Scotland and was 35 years of age. He served his apprenticeship with Messrs C M Kay and Sons tweed manufacturers of Dumfries for whom he acted as traveller for some time"



DODD, Frank

Regiment:  1st Btn Cheshire Regiment 

Rank: Bandsman

Number: 1684

Died: 4th September 1916

Aged: 23 

Buried/ Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, France

Address: 122 Faulkner Street, Hoole

Chester Chronicle 23/09/16

Chester Drummer Killed

"Information has been received of the death in action of drummer Frank Dodd, of Faulkner Street, Hoole, who was serving in the Cheshire Regt. Drummer Dodd had been in the local Territorial band for a considerable time previous to the war. He was employed before mobilisation at the Great Western sheds. He was a member of the Bible Class at All Saints, and before joining the Territorials, a member of the Church Lads’ Brigade. He had been at the front nearly 2 months."


The following letter has been received from Drummer FJ Ellison, Cheshire Regt.:- "Dear Mr and Mrs Dodd,- it is with deepest regret I write these few lines to convey the worst news of all to have to send from these parts. A week today the drummers were called out to carry water up to the trenches to the boys who had driven the Huns back during the day, and were badly in need of a drink. We arrived in the lines at 8 o’clock in the evening, and were sitting grouped together on the slopes of a valley when a shell burst close by, and one of the fragments caught your son, which I am sorry to say, was the cause of his death. It may be a great consolation to you and the family to know he suffered no pain, as he was unconscious the few minutes he lived after being struck. All the drummers send their deepest sympathy in your sad bereavement. May God give you strength to bear the suffering it will cause. We all feel the loss very much, as he was a splendid companion, one of the best, and will be missed very much. Please express my deepest sympathy also to his fiancée. I have a few things safe in my keeping which I hope to be able to send when I get a good chance.- with deepest regret, I remain, his pal, FJ Ellison."


The 1911 Census shows Frank as an 18 year old shop assistant, living at 122 Faulkner Street, Hoole with his father Frank, mother Ada, brothers Arthur and George and sister Doris.



Regiment:  14th Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Rank: Private

Number: 4279

Died: 18 February 1917

Aged: 24

Buried/ Memorial: Bard Cottage Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium

Address: 16 Philip Street, Hoole

Pte. C. Doubleday (Killed in Action)
"Pte. C. Doubleday, R.W.F. (4279), who lived at 16 Philip Street, Hoole, has been killed in action. He was 24 years of age, the son of Mrs. Doubleday, Green Lane, Saltney, and was employed, before the mobilisation of his battalion in November 1914, at the Shipyard, Saltney.  

Pte. Doubleday had been wounded three times, and had again gone out to the front, and had been there for four months, when he was killed in action on 18th February. "

Mrs. Doubleday, his wife, with whom deep sympathy is felt in her bereavement, has had the following letter from a chaplain at the front -                  
 “ Feb. 24th Dear Mrs. Doubleday, - I regret to inform you that your husband, Pte. C. Doubleday, R.W.F., was killed here in the trenches last Sunday, and was buried the following day with Christian rites.  He died almost instantly after being shot, and he can not have suffered any pain.  He was one of the nicest boys imaginable, and I knew him very well.  He was presented for Confirmation by me on Feb. 7th when the Lord Bishop of Khartoum came round our division to perform the rite.  The news of his death will cause you great grief and sorrow, but I trust God will help you in your great trial.  Your husband has given his all for freedom and right, King and country.  There is a cross erected to mark his grave.  Please accept my deep sympathy with you in your great sorrow. – Yours faithfully, T. Bowen Williams, chaplain, R.W.F.




Regiment: Signals, Royal Engineers

Rank: Sapper

Number: 151747

Died: 17 October 1916

Aged: 23

Buried/Memorial: Upanga Road, Dar Es Salaam Tanzania

Address: 62 West Street


London & North Western Railway Gazette p38 December 1916
"It is with deep regret that we have to record the death of Sapper Hugh Dutton, Signal Telegraph Section RE, who died from dysentery in German East Africa on October 17th 1916.

Dutton entered this company’s service on May 1st 1908, as a telegraph messenger at Chester, later was transferred to the Traffic Inspector’s Office as Call Boy and on May 21st 1915, he was transferred to the Salaried Staff. He acted as Summer Telegraph Clerk at Llandudno during the season 1915, and was then transferred to Mold Junction as Traffic Clerk, from which place he joined the Colours on February 8th 1916.

Dutton was a very promising railway servant and was well liked by his colleagues in every department in which he worked. A funeral service was held in St Barnabas’ Church Chester on Sunday evening October 29th, which was attended by a large number of railwaymen. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the sorrowing family in their sad bereavement."


The 1911 Census shows Hugh as a 16 year old Railway Exchange Attendant living at 29 West Street, Newton with his father John, an engineering smith in hydraulics, mother Eliza, his sisters Eva and Edith, along with two boarders.


DUTTON, Stanley Vincent Hall

Regiment: 1st Btn. Worcester Regiment

Rank: Lance Corporal

Number: 53067

Died: 29/09/18

Aged: 19

Buried/ Memorial: Pigeon Ravine Cemetery, Epehy, France

Address: Wellfield House, Newton, Chester

Chester Chronicle 19/10/18

Lance Cpl.  S.V.H. Dutton (Killed)

"L. Cpl. Stanley V.H. Dutton, Worcester Regiment, aged nineteen, was killed in action on Sept. 29th. He was the second son of Mr. Albert Dutton, Westfield House, Newton, Chester, and a grandson of the late Mr. Edgar Dutton, a member of the town council, and Sheriff of the City.  He was an old King’s School boy, and a member of the Cadet Corps.  He was about to be transferred to a training school with a view to taking a commission."

Additionally, The Observer of the same date records that he passed into the Army in February 1917 and went abroad in March 1918. He was a keen patriot and an all-round athlete being one of the foremost members of the sports section of his school.

The 1911 Census shows Stanley as a 12 year old at Wellfield, Newton with father Albert, a picture frame maker, mother Alice, brothers Norman and Herbert and sister Hilda. 


FAICHNEY, John Hamilton

Regiment: 1st Btn. Royal Berkshire Regiment (Princess Charlotte of Wales)

Rank: Lance Corporal

Number: 220703

Died: 08/10/18

Aged: 30

Buried/Memorial: Rumilly-en-Cambersis Communal Cemetery, France

Address: 4 Westminster Road, Hoole

Cheshire Observer 9 October 1915

Five Soldier Sons

"Mr D E Faichney of Westminster Road Hoole, a retired railway official, has five sons in the Army, namely David N who joined the Royal Field Artillery on August 18th, of last year and Harold D who joined the RFA on the same date and both of whom are with the Expeditionary Force in the Mediterranean, Hamilton who joined the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry in December 1914 and is now in Norfolk, Norman who joined the Cheshire RFAand is now in Surrey and Philip E who on April 15th joined the RFA and is now in Wiltshire."


Chester Chronicle 23/11/18
Lance Cpl. H. Faichney (Killed)

"Lance Cpl. Hamilton Faichney, Royal Berks. Rgt., second son of Mr. D. Faichney, 4 Westminster Road, Hoole, was killed in action on October 8th, the news, however, only reached his father last Sunday.  As a boy he attended All Saint’s and the British Schools.  Farming was the career he chose and after serving an apprenticeship with Messrs. Ledson, the Marsh Farm, Sealand, he obtained a farm bailiff’s appointment at Nottingham.  He was aged 30, and one of a patriotic family of six brothers all serving their country at the front.  The other 5 have come through unscathed."

The 1911 Census has John Hamilton Faichney as a 22 year farmer working on March Farm Sealand for Joseph Ledson. The rest of the family are in Westminster Road. In 1901 he is there with father David, a railway worker, mother Mary, brothers Charles, David, Reginald and Harold and sister Edith.



Regiment:  2nd Bn. Royal Fusiliers 

Rank: Private

Number: 3612

Died: 22/11/15 

Aged: 18

Buried/ Memorial: Boulogne Eastern Cemetery

Address:  Formerly “Avondale” Hoole Lane


Chester Chronicle 04/12/15
Died In France
Former Hoole Scholar

"We regret to learn that Mr. And Mrs. J. Fosbrooke, formerly of “Avondale” Hoole Lane, Chester, and now living at 39, Somerleyton Road, Brixton, London, have received sad intelligence that their son, Private John Lee Fosbrooke, has died from wounds in a hospital in France.  Their Chester acquaintances will deeply sympathise with the bereaved parents in their sorrow.

Private Fosbrooke had many friends in Chester, and especially in Hoole, where as a boy he attended All Saints’ Day School and Sunday School.  When the family left Chester for London he became a clerk in a London office, but when the war broke out he was one of the many patriotic young Englishmen to leave the pen for he sword.   Joining the 2nd London Regiment, Royal Fusiliers, he left England for France on August 18th, and it was on November 4th, while on guard in the front trenches, facing the Germans, that he was struck by a shell and seriously wounded in the left side.  He was invalided to Boulogne Hospital where, happily, his parents were able to visit him, before he passed peacefully away on November 22nd.  They also had the mournful satisfaction of being present at his funeral at Boulogne Cemetery.  Deceased, who was only 18 years and two months old, was liked and esteemed by all who knew him, and his death has come as a great blow to his parents."

The 1911 Census shows John as a 13 year old at Avondale, Hoole Lane with father John, a commercial traveller, mother Annie and brother Alan.


GOODING, Stuart John

Regiment:  2nd Btn. Irish Guards

Rank: Private

Number: 5194

Died: 19th July 1917

Aged: 24

Buried/ Memorial: Bleuet Farm Cemetery, Belgium

Address: 4 Clare Avenue

Cheshire Observer 11/08/17
"We regret to learn that Private Stuart John Gooding Irish Guards….son of Mr and Mrs Gooding Clare Avenue Hoole has been killed in action. He joined the Army on the outbreak of War. Previously he was employed as shunter(?) on the London and North Western and Great Western Joint Railways at Chester for nine years. He was aged 24 years. Private Gooding was a scholar in All Saints School Hoole. He went……………..February 1915.and was wounded on July 11th 1915 after which he came home. He again went abroad in August 1916 and he killed on July 19th this year. His captain writes “He was in a trench and was killed by a shell which burst close by him"



Regiment:  2nd Bn Suffolk Regiment

Rank: Private

Number: 19431

Died: 07/09/15 

Aged: 18

Buried/ Memorial: Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium

Address:  59 Phillip Street, Hoole

Chester Chronicle 18/09/15
Hoole Soldier Dies From Wounds

“Always Cheerful and Willing”

"News has been received at Hoole that Pte. W. R. Griffiths, 19431, of the 2nd Suffolk Regiment has died from wounds.  The deceased lived with his parents at 59 Philip Street, Hoole, and enlisted with the Suffolk Regiment on the 26th January 1915.  He went to the front on July 6th and was wounded in the chest on September 7th , succumbing to his injuries the same day.

Pte. Griffiths received his education at All Saints, Hoole, where he was well liked. He successfully represented the school as goalkeeper in the football team.  At the time of enlisting he was employed as an assistant with the Maypole Dairy Company, Eastgate Street, Chester.  He was an enthusiastic member of the Church Lads Brigade, and was a sergeant in the All Saints Company.  His death came as a blow not only to the family, but to all who knew him,  and his death at the early age of 18 has been a great loss to the men of the regiment, where he will be missed very much.  A brother, Cpl Geo. Griffiths, is serving with the A.S.C. in France."


The manner in which the deceased was wounded was communicated to the parents by Sergt. W. Waters in a letter which stated: - “He was very much liked by all his mates in the platoon, and I must say he was a lad willing to do anything he was asked to do, and I miss him too.  Perhaps you would like to know how your son got wounded.  Well, he had come from the firing line on the night of 7th , and we were well away from it too, and a bullet came and hit your son in the side, passing through so that it cam out just below his heart. I dressed the wound and ran for a stretcher.  Going down for it I met an ambulance and he went straight away to hospital.”  A further letter was received from the sergeant as follows: - “Dear Madam,  - I am very sorry to inform you that your son died from the wound he received.  I have just got the news, so I thought I would drop a line.  We shall all miss him, as he was a good soldier and a hard worker.  I and my comrades send our deepest sympathy to you in your great loss.”

Lieut. E. Hedward, 2nd Suffolk Regiment, in a letter states: - “I believe my platoon sergeant has also written to you sympathising with your loss, and I join with him and the rest of the platoon in offering you out deepest sympathy in your bereavement. We shall miss him very much as he was always cheerful and willing.”

A touching account was also received from the Rev. M. Buchanan, the chaplain of the Casualty Clearing Station, who writes:- “I saw him in the evening, and he was only half conscious, but I think he was just able to join in the Lord’s Prayer as I said it near his bed.  We buried him this afternoon with the church service in our soldiers’ cemetery 1 ½ miles south of Poperinghe, in Belgium and a cross will be placed on his grave inscribed with his name.” 

A memorial service will be held at Hoole on Sunday morning. 


Chester Chronicle 25/09/15
Memorial Service at Hoole

"On Sunday a service was held at All Saints, Hoole, to the memory of Pte. William Griffiths, Philip Street, Hoole, who died while serving his country at the front. There was a large congregation, which included Mrs Griffiths and other relatives and friends, members of the Chester Men’s Voluntary Aid Detachment, under Quartermaster E.P. Playfoot, and J.P. Faulkner and E. Weaver (section leaders), and over sixty members of the Church Lads Brigade (including the band), under Captain A. Wood and Lieut. J Barber.  For his text the Vicar (Rev. E. A. Pavitt) took I Corinthians, 15th chapter, 30th verse, ”In jeopardy every hour”.  He said that the country was in jeopardy and that there were some, it appeared, “so blind to all honour, so deaf to all appeals, so dead to the nobler instincts of patriotism, that they would imperil our very birthright, there’s and ours, for a mess of pottage, risking all for what was by comparison, naught. This was no time for listening to the objurgations of party hacks, for being victimised by the foibles of people with a grievance, for tolerating a domineering attitude on the part of any noisy faction.  The country was in jeopardy and if there was any man, or any body of men, who in this hour of supreme and bitter crisis would not put country first at any cost, then let the rest of them rise as one man and cry, “Away with them.”  Hundreds and thousands of our best and bravest were in jeopardy every hour, such jeopardy, we were told, that we could not realise it unless we had experienced it. The sorrowing wives and mothers were with us.  The men with ghastly and terrible wounds were with us.  Whose heart would not burn, whose inmost soul would not dilate, at the shameful contrast between the splendid self sacrifice of those on the one hand who stood between us and the terrible foe, facing the horrors of the battlefield, and the degrading opportunism of those, on the other hand, whose pernicious selfishness branded them with an infamy which words could not express.  “In jeopardy every Hour.” It was true of all men everywhere, but terribly true of those on land and sea, in the air or beneath the waves, striving to vindicate justice, honour, and freedom, against the forces of iniquity and tyranny.  Those members of the Church Lads Brigade were thereto honour the memory of an erstwhile comrade.  Pte. Griffiths’ last thoughts seem to have been of his widowed mother, to whom his last message was, “ I am always thinking of you.” First, as a day and Sunday School scholar, and afterwards as a non-commissioned officer in their C.L.B., William Griffiths, from boyhood, loved and was at all time a regular worshiper there. Now he had gone to that higher Service where man always met God face to face. In the passing of that young life, God had spoken to many.  Sympathising friends and neighbours had gathered around the sorrowing mother, and it had been his opportunity and privilege to speak to not a few little groups in that street during the past week, pointing to the momentous issues of life and death.  God had spoken to them.  Did He not speak to them, especially to the lads of that brigade which William Griffiths held non-commissioned rank? He (the preacher) had spoken somewhat vehemently and he thought he would speak with equal vehemence tomorrow, if the occasion arose, of te sordid selfishness of those who exploited the country’s misfortunes for the sake of base ideals.  But through out life, as St James said, “endureth for a little time and then vanisheth away” – this earthly life, fleeting though it was, was yet replete with golden opportunities. He turned with deep thankfulness to think of those who, loyally and devotedly, were giving time and skill to works of usefulness.  Such a work was assuredly that of the Men’s Voluntary Aid Detachment represented there that morning.  Heartily he welcomed them.  Their badge was the Red Cross. He knew of only one more sacred, more inspiring, and that was the Cross that once streamed red with blood of the Crucified Redeemer, who made atonement for our sins, the Cross which because of what it stood for accounted for the genesis and development of all red cross work.  In conclusion, Mt Parvitt exhorted everyone never to do less than their utmost, and to live ever in full view of the Cross of Christ, and beneath its shadow, learning ever more deeply its supreme lessons and meaning.  He urged that our utmost and our best should be for God and His Church, for our King and our beloved country, for suffering humanity and the world at large.  

Amongst the hymns were the hospital hymn, “Thou to Whom the sick and dying,” which was very feelingly rendered.  The first verse of the National Anthem was sung after the benediction.  The choir then took up a position inside the north-west door, the V.A.D. lined up in the roadway, and the C.L.B. from the church door to the roadway and Mr R. B. Hamilton played Chopin’s Funeral March. While the congregation stood the buglers of the C.L.B. Band sounded the last post."


The 1901 Census has William as a 3 year old boy at 64 Phillip Street with his mother Margaret (who had become a widow that year) and brothers Edward, George and Herbert. 

Besides his grave in Belgium, his name is also commemorated on his parents grave stone in Overleigh Cemetery.


HARRISON, William Allen


Regiment: “B” Coy 7th Bn. King’s Shropshire Light Infantry

Rank: Private

Number: 26386

Died: 11 June 1917

Aged: 36

Buried/ Memorial: Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, France

Address: 9 Vivian Terrace, Hoole Lane, Hoole

Chester Chronicle 23/06/17

Pte. W.A. Harrison (Died From Wounds)

"We regret to record that Private W.A. Harrison of Vivian Terrace, Hoole Lane, Hoole, Chester, has died from wounds received in action.While serving with his regiment, the Shropshire Light Infantry, he received a shot wound in the abdomen. The surgeons at the overseas hospital performed an operation, but unfortunately it did not save the soldier’s life. He died in hospital on the 11th June, and the news was received in Chester on the 15th. Pte. Harrison who was in civil life a painter at Chester General Railway Station, volunteered at the beginning of the war and was sent to the front twelve months ago. He leaves a widow and four children, with whom deep sympathy is felt in their sad loss."

The 1911 Census shows William as a painter aged 30 at 9 Vivian Terrace with his wife Frances, daughters Frances & Clara and sons John & William.

HIDDLESTONE, William Borthwick

Regiment: “Z" Company,1st/10th Battalion, The King's (Liverpool Regiment)
Rank: Private
Number: 357042
Died: 28 May 1918 - No. 1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station
Aged: 22
Buried/Memorial: Pernes British Military Cemetery France Plot 2, Row D, Grave No. 9
Address: 66 William Street, Hoole, Chester

William Borthwick Hiddlestone was born on 7 August 1897 at 5 Charlotte Street, in Langholm, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. His parents were John Hiddlestone and Davina Borthwick. By 1911, the family had moved to England and were all living at 66 William Street, in Hoole, Cheshire. Four years later, just over a year after war was declared, William enlisted in the British Expeditionary Force in Liverpool in November 1915. William served with the 10th Battalion, The King's (Liverpool Regiment).
William was injured on 26 May 1918 with gunshot wounds to his left thigh and he was admitted to No. 1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station. He succumbed to his wounds two days later and was buried the next day in Pernes British Military Cemetery France (Plot 2, Row D, Grave 9).
William’s father, who was still living in Hoole, was his next of kin and was sent a letter to notify the family of his son’s death. William was awarded posthumously the British War Medal (for service overseas between 1914 and 1918) and the Victory Medal (for service in an operational theatre).
We are grateful to the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa who own the copyright to this information. Further details can be obtained at

HOLMES, Frederick William

Regiment: 13th Btn. Cheshire Regiment
Rank: Private
Number: 49315
Died: 8th August 1917
Aged: 32
Buried/ Memorial: The Huts Cemetery, Belgium
Address: 50 Phillip Street and later 5 Water Tower Street, Chester

Chester Chronicle 15 September 1917
Members of St Peter’s Choir in the War
The vicar of St Peter’s, in his Parish Magazine, states – “Among those who have fallen in the war during this month is Frederick William Holmes, a useful and much respected member of the choir. Pte. Holmes fell a victim to dysentery while serving in Mesopotamia, and was sent to hospital in India, and then to Egypt. He was married at St. Peter’s during his short furlough, which ended about two months ago. The sympathy of all connected with the church will be extended to his young widow.

The 1911 Census shows Frederick as a 26 year old railway fireman for London & North Western Railway living at 50 Phillip Street with his widowed mother.

Article researched and written by Dave Rees, Hoole History & Heritage Society, with additional research by Alison Greenwood

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