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Remembrance

Westmill's war memorial is located within St. Mary's Church and it, along with most other memorials to the Great War, was paid for and erected by public subscription.

As noted on the memorial itself, it was dedicated in 1919.

The list of Westmill's war dead may seem quite short but in fact the tragic loss of 11 Westmill residents represents a considerable number when you think that the population recorded during the 1911 census numbered just 163 male inhabitants in total.

The intention of this page is to publish research and records relating to the brave men of Westmill who never returned to the village life that they left behind to defend all those years ago.  The research has been carried out by Mike Harding and Nigel Leaney.

If you can help fill in any additional details for the names listed on Westmill's roll of honour we'd really appreciate it if you could get in touch as we'd love to be able to provide a resource for future generations.  Please contact Nigel, if you can help in any way.

 

Westmill War Dead 1914-1918

 

Thomas J Abrahams

Thomas John Abrahams was born in High Cross in 1899 to Forst and Emily Abrahams.  In 1911 he is recorded by the census as a schoolboy living at The Bury Lodge, Westmill along with his brother Charles and sister Ruby.

Thomas enlisted at Hertford into the Hertfordshire Regiment as a Private (although according to surviving records of his service, spent some time with the Bedfordshire Regiment too). 

Thomas was killed in action during the advance on the Hindenburg Line on 18th September 1918 aged 19. 

Thomas's name is inscribed on the memorial at Vis-En-Artois along with over 9,000 men who fell in the period from 8th August 1918 to the date of the Armistice, in the Advance to Victory in Picardy and Artois, between the Somme and Loos, and those who have no known grave.

 

George Cranville

George was born at Great Hormead, Herts in 1888 to George and Lizzie (his service record states he was born in Great Orme!)

In the 1911 Census he is recorded to have been living at home in Hall Lane, Great Hormead with his parents, younger brother Fred and sister, Louisa.  At this time his occupation was that of Groom.  

He was married to Emma Wick on July 5th 1913 in Great Hormead and then lived in Westmill. 

He was enlisted in Royston and served with the 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment in France.

George was injured and was evacuated to England.  He died of wounds at the King George Hospital for Wounded Soldiers in London on 10th August 1915 aged 27 and is buried at St Mary's, one of two Commonwealth War Graves Commision (CWGC) memorials in the churchyard.

 

Percy G Darton

Percy George Darton was born on 7th July 1897 in Cottered.  In 1901 Percy was still living in Cottered with his mother and father Hannah and David and elder brother and sisters Florence, William and Elsie.  By 1911 the family had moved to Gaylors Farm, where Percy was working as an errand boy for a local builder.

Percy enlisted into the 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment as a Private and died as a Prisoner of War on 25th January 1918 aged 20 years old.

Percy is buried at the Niederzwehren cemetery near Kassel in Germany.  His name is also inscribed on the memorial to his Mother and Father who are buried in Westmill.

 

C James Edwards

Charles James Edwards was born in Buntingford in 1896.  In 1911, he was living in Westmill with James and Emma Edwards, his grandparents and working as a farm labourer.

James enlisted at Hertford into the 13th Middlesex Regiment but also served in the 1st London Regiment and later transferred to the 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

James was killed in action on 21st March 1918 aged 22 and is buried in the Chauny communal cemetery in the Aisne region of France.

 

Harry Hagger

Harry Hagger was born in Great Chishill, Essex in 1895 to James and Mary Ann Hagger.  Harry had 3 elder brothers, Edward, William and Josiah and one elder sister, Grace and in 1901 the family were living at 52 The Bury, Westmill. 

In 1911 Harry is recorded as living at Knights Hill with his father and sister and having an occupation of House Boy.

Harry enlisted in Buntingford into the 4th Reserve Brigade, Royal Horse and Field Artillery and served as a driver.

Harry died in London on 10th February 1916 while on active service.  He was 20 years old.

Harry's name is inscribed on the Greenwich memorial.

 

Percy J Hall

Percy John Hall was born in 1892, the son of William and Alice Hall of Hamels Rd., Buntingford, Herts.

Percy worked as a Signalman on the Great Eastern Railway

Percy enlisted in Tottenham into the Middlesex Regiment and later served in the Machine Gun Corps.

Percy was killed in action on 21st March 1918 aged 26 and his name is recorded on the memorial at Pozieres which commemorates over 14,000 casualties of the United Kingdom which have no known grave and who died on the Somme from 21st March to 7th August 1918.

 

E W Humphreys

To Be Completed.  Please contact Nigel, if you have any details concerning E W Humphreys.

 

Bertie Pegram

Bertie was born in Westmill on 24th Jul 1893, the son of John and Eliza Pegram, of School Lane. He was baptised at St. Mary's on October 8th of the same year.  He had 2 elder brothers and one younger brother.  In the 1911 census his occupation is recorded as Cement Works Labourer.

Bertie enlisted in the Royal Navy as a stoker.

Bertie died of wounds as a result of an air raid by German Gotha bombers on Chatham Barracks on the night of 3rd/4th September 1917. HMS Pembroke, where Bertie was serving at the time, was a shore based training establishment.  Bertie was 24 when he died and is buried at St. Mary's, his grave opposite that of George Cranville and also marked with a CWGC memorial.

 

John G Sammons

John George Sammons was born in Westmill in 1893, the son of Henry and Betsy Sammons. He was baptised at St. Mary's on November 12th of the same year

In 1901, John and his parents were living in Aspenden Road, and by 1911, John, aged 17 was working as an apprentice carpenter and lthe family had moved to New Cottage, Westmill.

John died in 1919 aged 26.  He was buried in the churchyard at St. Mary's.  At this time our research has been unable to confirm his exact burial location, service record or cause of death, although it is believed that John could have been discharged from the Northamptonshire Regiment in March 1918 and his death, the result of wounds received.  This could explain why his name was included on Westmill's memorial to the fallen of the Great War.

 

Frederick White

Frederick White was born in 1896 in Westmill, the son of George and Elizabeth White.  He was baptised at St. Mary's on April 18th of the same year.  Frederick had three older sisters, Sarah, Emma and Hilda, two older brothers,  Benjamin and Walter and one younger brother, Bertie.

In the 1901 census, Frederick was recorded as living with the family in Westmill and by 1911 he was occupied as a Farm Labourer.

Frederick enlisted into the Hertfordshire Regiment and later served in the 8th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment as Private.

Frederick was killed in action on 16th August 1917 aged 21.  Frederick's name is recorded on the Tyne Cot memorial which bears the names of almost 35,000 officers and men whose graves are not known as well as those who died in the battles for Ypres and the surrounding area.

 

Walter White

Frederick's elder brother Walter was born in 1893 in Braughing.  In 1901 he is recorded as living with the family at Westmill and by 1911 Walter was also occupied as a Farm Labourer.

Walter enlisted in Royston into the 5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment as Private and was in killed in action in Palestine on 10th September 1918 aged 25.  Walter's name is recorded on the Jerusalem memorial.

 

Westmill War Dead 1939-1945

 

Peter R. Mildren

Peter Mildren was born in Westmill in 1919. He joined the RAF on a short service commission in August 1939. He completed his training and joined 54 Squadron at Catterick in early October 1940. The squadron flew Spitfires and was heavily involved during the Battle of Britain.

Peter moved to 66 Squadron and was based at West Malling and later at Biggin Hill.

On 11th February 1941, Peter was taking part in a sweep over France when his Spitfire P7520 was shot down off Boulogne and he was killed. Click here to see the combat report from his final flight.

He is buried in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery.

Peter's name is inscribed on the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall at the the National Memorial to the Few at Capel-le-Ferne, above the famous white cliffs between Dover and Folkestone.

He is also remembered on the superb Battle of Britain London Memorial on Westminster Embankment.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.