The War MemorialHome / Plumtree History / The War Memorial

war memorial - west facePlumtree's War Memorial stands near the west gate of St Mary's churchyard. It commemorates the men from Plumtree, Normanton-on-the-Wolds and Clipston-on-the-Wolds who died in the two World Wars.

The west face of the plinth is inscribed with the names of the eighteen casualties of the First World War (below left). The south face of plinth has the names of the four casualties of the Second World War.

A nineteenth name was omitted from the First World War casualties. This has now been added on the south face of the plinth. For more information, see The Mystery of George Taylor.

War Memorial Background describes the construction and dedication of the War Memorial.

First World War 1914 - 1919

Second World War 1939 - 1945

war memorial - first world war names war memorial - second world war names
Ernest Astill - Royal Engineers Gareth Bernard Banting - Chaplain No 2 Commando
Gerald Barlow - Sherwood Foresters Frederick Henry Holmes - Flight Lieutenant RAF
Frank M Braisby - Lincolnshire Regiment Richard Alfred Terry - Parachute and Lincs Regiments
John W Cooper - King’s Own Scottish Borderers Melville Francis Fortune - Corporal RAF
Joseph Cooper - Royal Garrison Artillery  
Frank Costall - Sherwood Foresters  
Bryant A Cutler - Sherwood Foresters  
John Darby - King’s Own Yorks Light Infantry  
Robert Davis - Royal ASC (MT)  
John L Hallam - Sherwood Foresters  
John T Hayward - Northumberland Fusiliers  
Walter Huyton - King’s Liverpool Regiment  
Amos Leon - Sherwood Foresters  
A Henry Longden - Sherwood Foresters  
John W Martin - Royal Sussex Regiment  
Thomas Mitchell - Army Labour Corps  
Herbert Pendleton - Shell Filling Factory (civillian)  
S Benjamin Smith - Sherwood Foresters  
George Taylor - Sherwood Foresters (added in 2014, below Second World War names)

 


First World War Casualties


Astill, Ernest (147233)

ernest astill - memorial headstonePioneer, 5th Battalion Special Brigade, Royal Engineers
Formerly with the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) (Army No 11875)
Killed in action on 17th October 1916, aged 21, in the fighting on the Somme
Burial location is unknown; commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France (inscription on Pier and Face 8 A and 8 D)

Memorial on Plot 292 of Plumtree churchyard (see right)
Son of Edward and Elizabeth Astill (nee Wilford) of Plumtree
Born in Plumtree; baptised at St Mary’s, Plumtree on 22nd May 1894

Appears on 1901 Plumtree census, aged 6, living on Flawford Lane
Appears on 1911 Stanton-on-the-Wolds census, aged 16


Barlow, Gerald Walker (27429)

Sergeant, Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment); 117th Brigade, 39th Division
Killed in action on 3rd September 1916, aged 28, in the fighting on the Ancre
Burial location is unknown; commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France (inscription on Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A)

Son of Edwin and Sarah Barlow of Lowdham; born in 1888
Married Hilda Edith Simpson (of Rose Grove, Plumtree) at Lowdham Church on 23rd December 1915

Appears on 1891 Lowdham census, aged 2
Appears on 1901 Lowdham census, aged 12
Appears on 1911 Lewisham census, aged 22


Braisby, Frank Machin (49688)

frank braisby - gravestonefrank braisby - memorial headstonePrivate, 10th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment
Died of his wounds on 1st May 1918, aged 19
Buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France (plot reference: IX. B. 23)

Memorial on Plot 234 of Plumtree churchyard (see right)
Son of Benjamin and Sarah Ellen Braisby (nee Machin) of Plumtree
Born in Plumtree; baptised at St Mary’s, Plumtree on 4th September 1898

Appears on 1901 Plumtree census, aged 3
Appears on 1911 Plumtree census, aged 12
 


Cooper, John William (40061)

john william cooper - gravestonePrivate, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers; 13 Brigade, 5th Division
Formerly with the South Staffordshire Regiment (Army No. 40456)
Killed in action on 8th November 1917 in the second Battle of Passchendaele
Buried at Bedford House Cemetery, Belgium (plot reference: Enclosure No.4 IV. E. 10)

Son of Jerry and Frances Cooper (of Plumtree); brother of Joseph Cooper (q.v.)
Born in Colsterworth, Lincolnshire in 1881

Appears on 1891 Colsterworth census, aged 10
Appears on 1911 Plumtree census, aged 30, living at Flawford


Cooper, Joseph (89341)

joseph cooper - gravestoneGunner, 265th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Died of his wounds on 3rd October 1917, aged 38
Buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium (plot reference: XX. F. 9A)

Son of Jerry and Frances Cooper (of Plumtree); brother of John William Cooper (q.v.)
Born in Colsterworth, Lincolnshire in 1879
Husband of Edith Cooper

Appears on 1881 Colsterworth census, aged 2
Appears on 1891 Colsterworth census, aged 12
Appears on 1901 Gamston census, aged 21
Appears on 1911 Nottingham census, aged 32, living at 38 Greyfriar Gate


Costall, Frank (4774)

frank costall - gravestonePrivate, 1st Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)
Died of wounds received in action on 13th May 1915, aged 22
He was the first soldier from the Plumtree area to die in battle
Buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France (plot reference: VIII. C. 30)

Son of William and Ellen Costall of Normanton-on-the-Wolds
Born in Radcliffe

Appears on 1901 Edwalton census, aged 8, living on Main Street
Appears on 1911 Plumtree census, aged 18, living at The Green, Plumtree


Cutler, Bryant Alfred (50239)

bryant alfred cutler - gravestonePrivate, 1st / 8th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)
Died of his wounds on 23rd October 1918, aged 32
Buried in Tourgeville Military Cemetery, France (plot reference: IV. E. 15)

Son of Alfred and Annie Cutler
Born around 1887 in Seale, Surrey
Married Charlotte Frances Leeson of Normanton-on-the-Wolds on 6th May 1911 in Bourne, Lincolnshire

Appears on 1891 Seale census, aged 4
Appears on 1901 Heath End, Farnham census, aged 14
Appears on 1911 Bourne census, aged 24


Darby, John (42544)

john darby - gravestonePrivate, 2nd / 5th Battalion, King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry); 187 Brigade, 62nd Division
Died of his wounds on 25th May 1917 after fighting on the Hindenburg Line
Buried in Achiet-Le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension, France (plot reference: I. I. 8)

Son of John William and Elizabeth Darby, of Plumtree
Born in 1898 in Nether Broughton, Leicestershire

Appears on 1911 Plumtree census, aged 13


Davis, Robert (M2/188907)

robert davis - gravestonerobert davis - memorialPrivate, Royal Army Service Corps, attached to XVII Corps, Heavy Artillery
Died on 3rd December 1918, aged 33
Buried at Valenciennes (St. Roch) Communal Cemetery, France (plot reference: I. F. 32)

Memorial on Plot 288 of Plumtree churchyard
Son of Thomas and Mary Jane Davis (nee Tolladay), of Normanton-on-the-Wolds
Baptised at St Mary’s, Plumtree on 18th May 1885
Husband of Annie Davis, of Long Acre, Bingham

Appears on 1891 Normanton-on-the-Wolds census, aged 6
Appears on 1901 Normanton-on-the-Wolds census, aged 15
Appears on 1911 Normanton-on-the-Wolds census, aged 26


Hallam, John Longley (27675)

Private, 8th Battalion, The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment); 57 Brigade, 19th Division
Killed in action on 7th June 1917, aged 27, in the Battle of Messines
Burial location is unknown; remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium (inscription on Panel 55)

Son of Herbert Longley and Alice Hallam, who were later married at St Mary’s, Plumtree on 26th May 1896
Born in Clipston
Grandson of Thomas Hallam

Appears on 1901 Clipston census, aged 7, living with his grandfather
Appears on 1911 Clipston census, aged 18, living with his grandfather

Hayward, John Thorpe (3709)

john thorpe hayward - gravestonejohn thorpe hayward - memorialPrivate, 1st / 4th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers
Died of his wounds on 21st September 1916, aged 33
Buried at Etaples Military Cemetery, France (plot reference: XVI. A. 8A)

Son of John Needham and Rachel Hayward of Flawford House, Plumtree
Born in Wormhill, Derbyshire
Memorial in Wormhill (St Margaret's) churchyard (see right)

Appears on 1891 Plumtree census, aged 8
Appears on 1901 Plumtree census, aged 17
Appears on 1911 Plumtree census, aged 30, living at Flawford


Huyton, Walter (57883)

walter huyton - gravestonePrivate, 2nd / 7th Battalion, The King's (Liverpool Regiment); 171 Brigade, 57th Division
Formerly with the Army Cyclists Corps (Army No 16726)
Killed in action on 27th September 1918, aged about 28, at the Battle of the Canal du Nord
Buried at Anneux British Cemetery, France (plot reference: I. B. 4)

Son of Edward Huyton (of Ampfield, Hants)
Married Emma Astill on 3rd August 1915 at St Mary’s, Plumtree


Leon, Amos Lawrence (57880)

amos lawrence leon - gravestonePrivate, 1st / 6th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment); 139 Brigade, 46th Division
Killed in action on 3rd October 1918, aged 33, at the Battle of the Beaurevoir Line
Buried at Bellicourt British Cemetery, France (plot reference: V. I. 6.)

Born in 1885
Son of William and Eliza Leon, of Saxmundham, Suffolk
Married Mary Gregg of Harby, Leicestershire in 1915

Appears on 1891 Benhall, Suffolk census, aged 6
Appears on 1901 Benhall, Suffolk census, aged 16


Longden, Alfred Henry

alfred henry longden - gravestoneCaptain, 5th Batallion Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)
Died at the Military Hospital, Rugeley, on 2nd March 1919, aged 38
Buried in Plumtree churchyard (Plot 259)

Son of John Alfred and Jane Baxter Longden
Born in Blackwell, Derbyshire
Married Amy Matthews of Ash Mount, Plumtree on 18th April 1912 in Swanwick, Derbyshire

Appears on 1891 Lytham St Annes census, aged 10
Appears on 1901 Stanton-by-Dale census, aged 20
Appears on 1911 Stanton-by-Dale census, aged 30

alfred henry longden - memorial windowThere is a commemorative stained glass window in the War Memorial Chapel of St Michael and All Angels Church, Bournemouth dedicated to Alfred Henry Longden.
Alfred’s father, John Alfred Longden, was Managing Director of Stanton Ironworks and President of the Institution of Mining Engineers.  He moved to Bournemouth in his retirement in 1917.


Martin, John William (S/366)

john william martin - gravestonePrivate, Royal Sussex Regiment
Discharged on 9th February 1919
Died of influenza and pneumonia on 4th March 1919 at his home in Pilsley, Derbyshire
Buried in Pilsley (St Mary’s) churchyard (see left) on 7th March 1919, aged 37

Born in Willoughby-on-the-Wolds about 1885
Son of William and Mary Elizabeth Martin, of Flawford Cottage, Plumtree
Siblings George Frederick Martin, Elsie M Martin, Herbert Baden Martin
Married Eliza Dodson on 31st October 1916 at Keyworth Primitive Methodist Church

Appears on 1891 Upper Broughton census, aged 9
Appears on 1901 Widmerpool census, aged 19
Appears on 1911 Pilsley census, aged 28

He had been a coal miner and had previously served for four years with the South Nottinghamshire Hussars.


Mitchell, Thomas (40465)

thomas mitchell - gravestonePrivate, Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)
Transferred to the Army Labour Corps (Army No. 125340)
Died at Leeswood Hall Hospital, Mold, Flintshire, on 1st November 1918

Buried in Plumtree churchyard (Plot 278) in a War Graves Commission grave
Son of Robert and Sarah Ann Mitchell of Normanton-on-the-Wolds
Baptised at St Mary’s, Plumtree on 18th March 1883

Appears on 1901 Normanton-on-the-Wolds census, aged 19
Appears on 1911 Normanton-on-the-Wolds census, aged 28


Pendleton, Herbert (Civilian)

attenborough churchyardchilwell memorialHerbert was the husband of Blanche Pendleton
Appears on 1911 Normanton-on-the-Wolds census, aged 33

He died in the explosion at the Shell Filling Factory, Chilwell [1] that occurred on 1st July 1918.

The ammonium nitrate plant exploded causing the worst accidental munitions explosion of the Great War. In all, over 130 people were killed, of whom only 32 could be positively identified.

The unidentified bodies are in a mass grave in Attenborough churchyard (see left).

The people who died are commemorated on a memorial (see right) on the site of the factory, now part of Chetwynd Barracks.


Smith, Samuel Benjamin (2153)

samuel benjamin smith - gravestonePrivate, 1st / 8th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)
Killed in action on 14th October 1915, aged 19, at Hohenzollern Redoubt in the Battle of Loos
Buried at Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France (plot reference: XXVII. M. 14)

Son of Samuel Henry and Eliza Smith (née Spittal), who were married at St Mary’s, Plumtree on 3rd November 1884
Baptised at St Mary’s, Plumtree on 22nd March 1896

Appears on 1901 Normanton-on-the-Wolds census, aged 5
Appears on 1911 Normanton-on-the-Wolds census, aged 15

Details of Samuel Benjamin Smith’s Memorial Plaque


Taylor, George (305416)

george taylor - gravestonePrivate, 8th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)
Discharged on 26th March 1919
Died on 31st January 1921, aged 25, at Plumtree, from tuberculous enteritis
Buried in Plumtree churchyard (Plot 268)

Son of William and Mary Taylor (née Astill)
Born on 23rd September 1895
Baptised at St. Mary’s, Plumtree on 27th October 1895

Appears on the 1901 Plumtree census, aged 5
Appears on the 1911 Plumtree census, aged 16

George Taylor’s name was originally omitted from the War Memorial when it was unveiled and dedicated on Sunday 9th January 1921. This was simply because he died 22 days after that event. However, following some investigation in early 2014, it was discovered that George Taylor was entitled to have his name added to the War Memorial retrospectively.

His name was finally added on 29th July 2014, in time for a First World War Commemoration Service and re-dedication of the War Memorial on Sunday 3rd August 2014. For the full story see The Mystery of George Taylor.


Second World War Casualties


Banting, Gareth Bernard (159706)

revd gareth banting - gravestonerevd gareth bantingChaplain 4th class, Royal Army Chaplains’ Department, attached to No. 2 Commando Regiment, Royal Marines
Died of his wounds on 10th October 1944, aged 32
Buried in Tirana Park Memorial Cemetery, Albania

Commemorated on the processional cross in St. Mary’s, Plumtree
Son of Revd Edgar Banting, (Rector of Plumtree 1937 – 1957) and Charlotte Emily Banting

See the Revd Gareth Banting page for more information


Holmes, Frederick Henry (76583)

Flight Lieutenant (Pilot), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 487 (R.N.Z.A.F.) Squadron
Fought in the Battle of Britain during the summer of 1940
Died on active service, aged 31, in an operation over the Ruhr, on 4th December 1944
Buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany (plot reference: Joint grave 16. E. 14-15)

Commemorated with a plaque on a prayer desk in the Sanctuary of St Mary's church
frederick henry holmes - plaque

Son of Henry and Florence Bradfield Holmes of "Delville House", Keyworth
Married Daphne Freda Bell, of Minting, Lincolnshire in 1936

The following information is based on the entry on the Battle of Britan Monument website:

Frederick Henry Holmes joined the  Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) around July 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot [under training]

He was called up on 1st September 1939 and, on completion of his training, was initially posted to 27 Maintenance Unit (MU) Shawbury in North Shropshire.

From there he went to 23 MU Aldergrove (near Antrim in Norther Ireland] on 6th January 1940 where he remained until he joined 152 Squadron at Acklington (near Amble in Northumberland) on 22nd June 1940.

On 25th July Holmes shared in the destruction of a Dornier Do 17; on 18th August he claimed a Junkers Ju 87 destroyed and on the 21st he shared a Junkers Ju 88. He was posted away to Central Flying School on 15th December 1940, presumably for an instructors’ course.

His subsequent service is currently undocumented until 4th December 1944 when Holmes was killed, serving as a Flight Lieutenant with 487 (RNZAF) Squadron, aged 31. His Mosquito FB VI HR197, operating from Thorney Island [near Chichester in west Sussex], crashed near Hesselte in Germany, cause unknown. Flying Officer Peter Wilkie Christopherson was also killed.


Terry, Richard Alfred (4341834)

Private, 2nd Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment
Killed in action on 2nd March 1945, aged 32, in Operation Veritable (a campaign to clear and occupy the land between the River Rhine and the River Maas)
Buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany (plot reference: 48. C. 6)

Son of Alfred and Daisy Maud Terry
Husband of Esther Winifred Terry (nee Hughes), of Muston, Nottinghamshire; married in Melton Mowbray in summer 1939


Fortune, Melville Francis (620140)

Corporal, Royal Air Force
Died on active service on 30th April 1943, aged 22
Buried in Karachi War Cemetery, Pakistan (plot reference: 1. A. 15)

Only son of Melville and Florence Fortune, of Plumtree


Further information is provided on the Imperial War Museums' War Memorials Archive website and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website.

We acknowledge the help of Michael Allbrook in the preparation of this web page. Michael is building a memorial website, They Gave Their Today, as a ‘tribute to those who fell in the World Wars of the 20th Century’.

Our grateful thanks go to Steve and his colleagues at The War Graves Photographic Project for the photographs of many of the headstones used on this page.

 

Explosion at the Shell Filling Factory, Chilwell, 1st July 1918

Shell Filling Factory

The explosives filling factory at Chilwell was established in 1915 with the two main aims of meeting the demands of the army on the Western Front for vast quantities of artillery shells and to fill these shells with amatol.

The factory was known as National Filling Factory No. 6 Chilwell and it was one of the most important filling factories in the country. It filled over 50% of the 60-pounder and 15-inch shells used during the war, amounting to 19,250,000 shells. In addition it also filled naval mines and aerial bombs.

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