Felbridge WWI Heroes Part 2

Felbridge Remembers their World War I Heroes, Pt. II

2014 saw the centenary of the start of World War I and to commemorate the event the Felbridge History Group produced Felbridge Remembers World War I [for further information see Special, Felbridge Remembers World War I, SP. SJC 07/14].  So much information was donated it was decided to produce a series of Handouts that will culminate with the centenary of Armistice Day in 2018.  The following is Part II of this series that documents the information received into the Felbridge archive in response to the centenary, some of which may also appear in the commemorative publication Felbridge Remembers World War I, but where additional information has since be received this has been incorporated under the relevant sections. 


This, and all the Handouts in the series, tells the stories of some of the local heroes with Felbridge connections who fought in World War I and how their families were impacted during this tumultuous time.  Much of the information has come from descendants and family members who keep their memories alive, supplemented with information about their service from war records (where they survive) and details about some of the campaigns they were part of. 


Part I covered the Arnold, Roberts and Sargent families, Sidney Godley, the first Private to receive the Victoria Cross in World War I, Frank Wells whose war memoires (in his own words) survive and Christopher Wren of the Tank Corps, all of whom have descendants that still live in Felbridge and the surrounding area.  This Handout will cover Henry Willis Rudd and the Lewis gun, the formation of the Voluntary Aid Detachment and the work of Mrs Blount of Imberhorne, together with some of the Auxiliary Hospitals/Convalescent Hospitals that were set up in the Felbridge area including the stories of L. STO. Reginald William Morgan who was sent to Felbridge Park and LT. COL. J B Pym and CAPT. R H Freeman MC who were sent for convalescence at The Lodge, Great Frenches Park.  It will also cover some of the wartime entries found in the Felbridge School Log and examples of some wartime letters and postcards sent by soldiers to their families in Felbridge.


The impact of World War I on Felbridge

The impact of World War I on the people of the Felbridge community has to be viewed as two parts, those who sadly lost their lives, which can be measured in facts and figures, and those who returned as very different men after fighting in the war.


For the facts and figures, eighteen men are recorded as having lost their lives in World War I in Felbridge.  Of these eighteen, only fifteen appear on the official Memorial Plaque in St John’s church, with a further two remembered on memorials erected in the churchyard, and one who has no memorial [for further information see Handout, War Memorials of St Jon the Divine, SJC 07/02v].  Of the eighteen men, there are four pairs of brothers who died and at least one brother-in-law.  The average age of the Felbridge men who died was thirty, with 53% being single, 29% being married and the remaining 18% widowed or unknown.  Although the men served with a variety of regiments, the largest percentage, 41%, served with the Royal Sussex Regiment, which lost a total of 6,800 men, and of this figure 0.1% came from Felbridge.  The highest loss of Felbridge lives occurred in 1915 and 1916, both years being 29% with 24% lost in 1917 and 18% lost in 1918, the majority of lives being lost in France.


The impact on the community of Felbridge also has to be considered in relation to the population figure of Felbridge at that time.  Felbridge, although no longer a manorial estate as it had started to break up in 1911 [for further information see Handout, 1911 Sale of the Felbridge Estate, SJC 01/11], did not grow during the intervening years.  This meant that the population figure was about the same as it had been during the time of being a manorial estate that in 1913 was 293.  On this basis, Felbridge lost 6% of its total population during World War I and presuming that about half of the population were males, Felbridge lost 12% of its male population. Considering the average life expectancy in Felbridge in the early 1900’s was 60 (from burial data) and the age for conscripted service was 18 to 50 by the end of the War, Felbridge lost 2 in every 9 males who were eligible for war service.


General Information on World War I

Set against a back drop of manoeuvres for European supremacy, World War I began on 4th August 1914, triggered by the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand whilst on a visit to Sarajevo in Bosnia.  The War drew in all the World’s big powers divided between two main camps, the Allies consisting of Britain, France and Russia, later joined by countries from the British Commonwealth and America, and the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary.


It was the first war that involved the majority of the world and saw the introduction of a very different form of warfare to that previously experienced.  Men no longer fought hand to hand combat but saw the introduction of indiscriminate mechanical warfare at close range.  Originally believed to be ‘over by Christmas’ it soon became apparent that this war would not be so easily won and would end up having a huge impact upon all the countries involved. 


By the end of the war in Europe, on 11th November 1918, many millions of lives had been lost on all sides and the four major European imperial powers, German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman, ceased to exist after 1919.  Germany lost substantial territory, whilst the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman states were dismantled.  This saw the re-drawing of the map of Europe with several independent nations restored or created.  To try and prevent the repetition of such an appalling conflict again the League of Nations was formed, thus World War I was billed as the ‘War to end all Wars’ but sadly the weakened states renewed European nationalism and the German feeling of humiliation contributed to a rise of fascism and the conditions for World War II, just twenty years later.


Henry Willis Rudd and the Lewis gun

Henry Willis Rudd was born in New York in 1866 and trained as lawyer.  He married Mary Ann Arnold in 1889 and they do not appear to have had a family [for further information see Handout, Park Farm, JIC/SJC 05/16].  Although a practising lawyer, Henry Rudd saw the advantages of backing the production of the Lewis gun, a light machine gun that was gas-operated, air-cooled and fed by a rotating drum containing either forty-seven or ninety-seven rounds, designed by Col. Isaac Newton Lewis. 


Samuel MacLean initially designed the Lewis machine gun, but in 1910, Col. Isaac Newton Lewis, an inventor who held several patents for optical sights and instruments used by the US Army Coast Artillery, was asked by the Army to develop and perfect the weapon.  The initial design was clumsy and heavy but after two years of reworking and development, Lewis presented four prototypes, which despite impressive performances, were totally rejected by the Army officials.  Despite this set back, Lewis took his lightweight machine gun, weighing only 26½ lbs, (11.45kg) and privately arranged to check on its performance from the air, attaching it to a Wright military aircraft.  Capt. Chandler of the Signal Corps successfully fired a magazine at a target on the ground demonstrating its potential all-round military value.  Thus in 1912 Col. Lewis set up a company in Liege, Belgium, called Armes Automatique Lewis, for the production of the gun and Henry Rudd became the Managing Director.  In 1913, having been turned down by the American Military, Col. Lewis left military service to pursue the sale of the Lewis gun elsewhere. 


During the initial years of the company Henry Rudd approached the Ordnance and the Admiralty in England and several other European governments, including, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Russia and Belgium, and in all cases orders were placed for models of the gun, although each gun had to be adapted to shoot the small arms ammunition calibre of each individual country.  It was soon obvious that the factory at Liege was totally unsuitable for the manufacture of the gun and the company moved to Antwerp.  However, due to the number of orders that had been placed the company found it necessary to engage another company to supply the assorted sized barrels required.  After some negotiations, an agreement was reached with the BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) Company in England to make the assorted barrels. 


By July 1914, the BSA had completed all orders for the different models of the gun and those for Belgium, Russia and Sweden were on their way to be delivered when World War I broke.  In the meantime, Henry Rudd had arrived in England to collect the guns that were destined for Germany, Austria and Italy, and accompany them to Antwerp from where they were to be distributed to the customer countries.  However, with the declaration of World War I, Henry Rudd was ordered by the British War Office, not to proceed with these guns and that henceforth the only orders to be accepted for the Lewis gun were to be those placed by the British War Office and that all the guns destined for the Continent were to be returned to the BSA for conversion into British calibre. 


With the outbreak of World War I, Belgium and the Armes Automatique Lewis Company’s factory in Antwerp was quickly abandoned and moved to England where the manufacture of the gun was continued at the BSA factory in Birmingham.  The efficient reputation and lightweight nature of the weapon aroused the interest of the RNAS (Royal Naval Air Service) and RFC (Royal Flying Corps) for use as an aerial armament.  Slight modifications were made to the ground gun that resulted in it becoming even lighter, 18½ lbs (7.99kg) and it became the main armament for Allied aircraft by early 1917.  The gun was subsequently used by the British, Belgium and Italian armies in great numbers, both as a ground weapon and as an aircraft gun and was the preferred weapon of the German heavy bombers, which utilized captured examples.  The ground gun was to remain in service with the British and Commonwealth forces until World War II, but interestingly, the US Military never did use the weapon [for further information see Handout, Downfall of Henry Willis Rudd, SJCSJC 11/02].


During Henry Rudd’s enforced stay in Britain he purchased Felbridge Park with its mansion house, park, grounds and Hedgecourt Lake in 1916, followed by Park Farm in 1917 [for further information see Handout, Park Farm, SHC 05/16] and set about creating a grand country estate on the expected proceeds to be gained from the manufacture and sale of the Lewis gun.  From their base at Newchapel House [for further information see Handout, Newchapel House, SJC 11/02], the Rudd’s employed the eminent British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens to give the Felbridge estate a complete make-over, suitable for a wealthy gentleman of the early 20th century.  One of the details that Lutyens had proposed was a Lewis gun weathervane, no doubt to reflect the Rudd connection with the manufacture of the machine gun [for further information see Handout, Lutyens’ Grand Design for Felbridge, SJC 07/03].  However, the Rudd’s residency was to be short lived and in 1924 Henry Rudd was forced to sell up, having never reached the status of millionaire as the British Government went back on their agreed price regarding the purchase of the Lewis guns.  Even after a lengthy legal battle, Henry Rudd was only paid a tenth of the value of the agreement in useless offshore war bonds.  The result of this was inevitable and all of their Felbridge estate was put up for auction in 1924 to attempt to recoup some of their loses.


Formation of the Voluntary Aid Detachment and Mrs Blount of Imberhorne and the Women’s Land Army and Felbridge resident Beatrice Brooker

In hindsight, the British War Office must have been fully aware that a war of some kind was on the horizon as in 1909 they introduced the Scheme for the Organisation of Voluntary Aid.  Under this scheme the British Red Cross were tasked with providing supplementary aid to the Territorial Forces Medical Service in the event of the outbreak of war.  In response to the task, county branches of the British Red Cross organised units called Voluntary Aid Detachments to train volunteers; the members being known as VADs.  Within a year of the launch of the scheme there were over 6,000 members, rising to over 90,000 after the outbreak of World War I in 1914, women being trained in First Aid, home nursing, hygiene and cookery and men being trained in First Aid in-the-field and stretcher-bearing.


It is known that several ladies from prominent families in the local area became involved in the Voluntary Aid Detachments including Helen Beale of Standen who worked as a VAD nurse in East Grinstead and France during World War I and Clara Blount of Imberhorne (see below).  Also, through a series of postcards in the Felbridge archive, it is evident that there were several occasions when nursing VADs in the local area participated in training exercises before the outbreak of the war.  One such postcard depicts the Duke of Norfolk inspecting the activities of a group of VAD nursing staff on a visit to Felbridge Place in 1911.  Unfortunately it has not yet been possible to determine who the VADs were or who would have been in charge.  The other collection of postcards in the archive depicts an exercise including a field kitchen, stretcher-bearing, field hospital and nursing staff at Imberhorne, the VAD under the direction of Clara Blount.


Clara Marianne Guislaine Blount OBE JP of Imberhorne

Clara was the wife of Edward A Charles Blount and daughter of Napoleon Charles Marie Guislaine, Comte Maret, 3rd Duc de Bassano and his wife Marie Anne Symes (of Quebec), who was born on 27th November 1875 at the family maison in Rue Dumont d'Urville, Paris.  Clara’s early education was provided by both English and French governesses and was completed at a finishing school outside Paris. On 27th  February 1897, following a civil ceremony at the 16th  Arondissement, she married Edward A C M Blount in the Church of St Pierre-de-Chaillot, Avenue Marceau.  The marriage produced two daughters, Clare Marie Guislaine Blount and Marguerite Pauline Mary Blount.  In November 1898, nine months after the birth of their eldest daughter, the Blounts, accompanied by a nanny and femme de chambre, arrived from Brussels to reside permanently at Imberhorne.  Clara Blount was soon involved with the smooth running of the Manor, as well as taking a keen interesting in the welfare of the Imberhorne employees and inhabitants of East Grinstead.


At a dinner party in 1910, hosted by Lord and Lady Goschen, Clara Blount was seated beside Sir Arthur Stanley MP.  He spoke of the recent sad demise of Florence Nightingale and his involvement with the Red Cross Society.  He emphasised their need for trained nursing volunteers to augment the new Territorial Army’s own medical services and for civilian organisers to distribute Red Cross comfort and medical supplies in the event of war.  Clara Blount expressed an interest and as a result, on completing a two-month First Aid and Nursing Course, was invited to form a Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) for East Grinstead and District.  Fired with enthusiasm and encouraged by an eager number of volunteers, Sussex VAD/68 (East Grinstead) was inaugurated in 1911, with Clara Blount as Commandant.


On the outbreak of World War I, Clara Blount was engaged on active service by the British Red Cross Society from November 1914 until May 1919.  In effect, this meant serving on the Sussex County Joint War Committee (see below), as well as being responsible for all Red Cross work in the East Grinstead region.


When Belgian refugees arrived in this country, Clara Blount arranged accommodation in several homes throughout the county.  In 1916, through the Blount’s efforts, Stildon House and Brewery House (on the site that became Norton House, now the long stay car park) in London Road, East Grinstead, were leased to the Red Cross Society as Auxiliary Hospitals, served entirely by trained Red Cross VAD nurses and staff, with Clara Blount as Commandant.  Clara’s daughter Clare also volunteered as the medical records clerk at StildonHouseHospital.  Clara was also closely involved in setting-up a Red Cross Resting Station in Boulogne.  It is interesting to note that her eldest daughter Clare was one of several volunteers working at the Station.


In 1919 Clara Blount was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE), ‘in recognition of her valued services to ameliorate the suffering of British Empire servicemen’.  She was also decorated with the Medaile de la Reine Elizabeth in ‘recognition and valuable service to Belgian citizens and servicemen in the recent war, particularly care and nursing of the sick and wounded’.   With the end of World War I, the Red Cross movement extended its objectives to include the general public’s need for the improvement of health and the prevention of disease.  Although the East Grinstead VAD Unit reduced its number of volunteers, they continued to practice their skills at the various local events, fetes etc. [for further information see Handout, Blounts of Imberhorne, JGS/SJC 01/06].


Special Service and General Service Voluntary Aid Detachments

Alongside the British Red Cross, the Order of St John of Jerusalem had also been tasked with raising units of voluntary helpers under what was called the War Office Voluntary Aid Scheme.   With the outbreak of war, these two organisations combined to form the Joint War Committee to administer the most effective, efficient and economical wartime relief work, operating under the protection of the Red Cross emblem and name.


Female VADs were encouraged to pass exams in First Aid and Nursing and in February 1915 the War Office proposed that these certificated volunteers could help at the Military RAMC (Royal Army Medical Corps) hospitals, which had previously only been staffed by army nurses and orderlies from the RAMC.  These ‘Special Service’ VADs worked not only in Britain but also in many countries within war-torn Europe.  Later that same year, in response to the falling numbers of men in Britain due to them having been called up for active service, a ‘General Service’ section of VADs was established in which women were trained in a variety of traditionally male held jobs such as clerical workers, storekeepers, medics, teachers, bus conductors and munitions manufacture.  Thus women replaced the traditional working roles of the men lost to active service or who had been wounded and by 1919 over 11,000 men had been replaced by women of the General Service section, changing the dynamics of the British workforce for ever.


Woman’s Land Army

One such Felbridge resident who assumed a traditionally male work role for the duration of the war was Beatrice Mary Brooker, although not under the General Service section of VADs but through the Board of Agriculture initiative of the WLA (Women’s Land Army), also established in 1915.  With over 3 million men away fighting, the government wanted women to become more involved in food production as part of the war effort, thus the formation of the WLA, which by 1917 saw over 23,000 WLA women working as farm labourers; Beatrice was to spend 4½ years working in the WLA. 


Women who wanted to join the WLA were interviewed and given a medical if they passed the interview.  If accepted, training depended on just how much farms needed work done within a region.  In theory, new members of the WLA should have been taught a number of farming issues, such as milking cows, caring for animals, ploughing, sowing crops, harvesting, felling trees, drainage and fruit picking.  In reality, such was the demand for food, that what was learned was done on the farm and many members of the WLA learned ‘on the job’.  By 1918, there were over 113,000 women working on the land, however, female labour alone was still not enough to meet the shortfall in agricultural labour so Prisoners of War were also frequently used, often working alongside the ‘Land Girls’.  One such farm in the local Felbridge area to benefit from POW labour during World War I was Gibbshaven in Furnace Wood under the tenancy of Alfred Searle who used German POW’s billeted in Cuttingly Wood to help run the farm throughout the war years [for further information see Handout, History of Cuttinglye, JIC/SJC 09/12].


Beatrice Mary Brooker

Beatrice was born in 1889, the daughter of John Amos Brooker (a stockman) and his wife Harriet née Pankhurst.  John and Harriet had married in 1873 and besides Beatrice had at least six other children including: Arthur born in 1873, Albert born in 1874, John born in 1877, James born in 1879, Ellen born in 1880 and Albert John born in 1887.  The family had moved from the Sevenoaks area sometime between 1880 and 1887 to 15, North End, East Grinstead; moving to Chestnut Avenue (Crawley Down Road), Felbridge, by 1901. 


Beatrice went to FelbridgeSchool from the age of five in May 1894, her parents paying 2d a week for her schooling.   Like most girls from working class families, Beatrice went into service on leaving FelbridgeSchool and for a brief time worked as a parlour maid for Rev. Troop of St John’s church, Felbridge, before joining the newly created WLA.  In 1917 Beatrice married Percy Beckett who had been born in 1889 in the Lingfield area, the son of Edmond and Emily Beckett.  Percy, a bricklayer by trade, was called up for World War I seeing active service at the Somme where he was awarded the Military Medal for his gallantry on land and devotion to duty under fire.  The Military Medal was established in March 1916 for non-commissioned military personal, equivalent to the Military Cross (MC) for officers.  Fortunately Percy survived the war and returned home and he and Beatrice had two children, Gavon in 1921 and Dawn in 1925.  Beatrice eventually returned to domestic work in which she remained until the age of eighty.


Working Parties, Resting Stations and Transport

Returning to the Voluntary Aid Detachments, they also performed a number of other activities apart from First Aid and Nursing and replacing men in the workforce, which included the organisation of Working Parties and Resting Stations, transport duties and the administration of Auxiliary Hospitals and Convalescent Homes that were set up throughout Britain during the war years, being championed in the local area by Clara Blount (see above).  There was even a small section of VADs on Air Raid duty in London after the German bombing campaign against England using airships began in January 1915.  Fortunately there is no evidence that air raids were carried out over the Felbridge area in World War I.  


With the outbreak of World War I, members of the Red Cross, VADs and local communities banded together to form Working Parties.  These organised the supply of clothing for hospitals including socks, shirts, blankets and belts, as well as making essential hospital equipment such as bandages, splints, swabs and clothing.   It is not commonly known that even as late as the 1930’s around 90 per cent of medicines prescribed by doctors or sold over the counter were of herbal origin.  It is only more recently that laboratory synthesised medicines have become the norm.  The plants that yield drug substances are located all over the world, some growing wild as weeds while others are cultivated.  At the turn of the 20th century many of the plants used in British medicine originated from the Continent, due to the fact that they grew more abundantly there and because of the warmer climate they could be dried without artificial heat.  As a consequence these plants were in short supply during World War I and the continued production of medicines in Britain began to rely on the use of native grown plants and natural remedies. 


A typical treatment for battle wounds during World War I was the use of garlic, a natural antibiotic, and sphagnum moss, which made a natural antiseptic dressing.  To overcome the shortfall of imported drug yielding plants, volunteers throughout Britain collected native grown plants.  In 1918 there was also a failure in the fruit crop, leading to the Ministry of Food calling upon the people of Britain to help out in the crisis by picking blackberries for jam.  The British Forces consumed 1.5 million pounds of jam per day and in 1918 the demand increased with the arrival of the American Army.  To date there is no documented evidence that plants were collected from the Felbridge area during the First World War, although sphagnum moss grew in abundance in the damp areas of Felbridge around Hedgecourt and Pond Tail Wood for example.  However, the School Log records that between 2nd and 16th September 1918, the children of Felbridge School managed to pick 260lbs/117kg of blackberries that were accepted and paid for by the East Grinstead War Women’s Association for the use of troops at home and abroad.  In acknowledgement, Mr Winter on behalf of the Ministry of Food, visited the school to thank the children for their success in blackberrying and urged them to continue.  Over the next two days the children picked a further 137lbs/62kg bringing the total weight of blackberries picked to 397lbs/179kg.  Blackberries are rich in Vitamin C and contain anthocyanins that help keep blood vessels healthy [for further information see Handout, Felbridge Herb Gatherers, SJC 01/04].


Depots were established in major towns to co-ordinate and despatch the clothing collected by the Working Parties.  The items were then sent to the Red Cross headquarters or directly to soldiers in Auxiliary Hospitals at home and abroad.  Alongside the Working Parties, Resting Stations were organised and manned by VADs to provide food and supplies for returning soldiers, particularly to those who had been wounded and were waiting to be transferred to a hospital.


Transport duties fell to male detachments of VADs who had received training at one of two motor testing schools in London or Glasgow, providing experience in driving and a good knowledge of mechanics and running repairs.  The main duties were the transportation of all sick and wounded soldiers from the ambulance trains or ships to the local hospitals, although male VADs could also be sent to France as ambulance drivers.  Due to a lack of suitable vehicles, The Times appealed for funds for ambulances in October 1915, raising enough money to purchase 512 vehicles in just three weeks.  These were the first ever motorised ambulances to transport the wounded in World War I.  Throughout the duration of the war, three hospital trains in France carried 461,844 patients, with hospital ships and barges used to ferry the wounded back to Britain.    


Auxiliary Hospitals/Convalescent Homes and some of their patients

As noted above, one of the major duties carried out by the Joint War Committee was the administration of AuxiliaryHospitals and Convalescent Homes that were set up throughout Britain during the war years, caring for the sick and wounded soldiers returning from the war.  Again in hind sight, the outbreak of war must have been foreseen as even before the conflict had begun, suitable properties were being sort around Britain that could be used as temporary hospitals in the event of war.  These were not commandeered and agreements were reached with the owners for use of the properties as hospitals in the event of a war.   Thus when World War I broke out there were numerous properties available for use as Auxiliary Hospitals with equipment and staffing in place, although it soon became apparent that there was a gross under estimation of just how many servicemen would require these facilities.  By the end of the war there were over 3,000 Auxiliary Hospitals across Britain providing temporary facilities for wounded servicemen.


Several properties were selected in the local area to be used as Auxiliary Hospitals in the event of the outbreak of war, including: Felbridge Park, Newchapel, although it has not yet been established as to whether it was the mansion house of Felbridge Park under the ownership of Arthur Smeeton Gurney of Luxfords, East Grinstead, until 1916 when it was purchased by Henry Willis Rudd or Newchapel House under the ownership of Andrew D MacNeill until 1916 when it too was purchased by Henry Willis Rudd; The Lodge (East Lodge later re-named The Whitehouse and now the site of the properties known as  Green Acre and Crockstead), Great Frenches Park, Snow Hill, Crawley Down;  Stildon House, London Road, East Grinstead (sadly the original house caught fire in 1918, being replaced by a second dwelling that was subsequently demolished and replaced by the purpose built care-home known as Brendoncare Stildon); and, slightly further out of the Felbridge area, Brewery House (known as Norton House), London Road, East Grinstead, (on the site of the Southdown and East Grinstead Brewery) under the ownership of A G &T S Manning until c1923 and under the occupancy of  Mrs H Freeland in 1912.


With the outbreak of World War I, or shortly after, all four properties were pressed into use as Auxiliary Hospitals and were staffed by nurses of the Red Cross trained VADs.  Auxiliary Hospitals were usually staffed by a Commandant who was in charge of the hospital; a Quartermaster responsible for the provision store; a Matron who organised the nursing staff; and nurses made up of members of the local VADs trained in First Aid and Home Nursing.  Local women also volunteered, on a part time basis, some in paid positions such as cooks. 


Felbridge Park Hospital, Felbridge

As already stated it is unclear whether the mansion house at FelbridgePark was being used as an AuxiliaryHospital or whether it was Newchapel House as part of FelbridgePark that was being used.  This is due to the ambiguity of the addresses used at the time, sometimes given as East Grinstead, implying the mansion house, or Newchapel, implying Newchapel House.  However, it was more likely that the mansion house was the property being used as the AuxiliaryHospital as neither Gurney or Rudd appear to have resided there during their ownership, with Gurney living at Luxfords in East Grinstead and Rudd at Newchapel House itself.  It is also not known whether the property was used as an Auxiliary Hospital for the full duration of the war but it is known is that one of its patients, Leading Stoker Reginald William Morgan, was sent to what was described as “Felbridge Park Hospital, Newchapel” a ‘convalescent hospital administered by the British Red Cross and the Order of St John of Jerusalem’ in 1914.


L. STO. Reginald William Morgan

Reginald William Morgan (according to the Birth Register Index and there is only one entry between 1870 and 1890 for a Reginald William born in Devon) was born on 19th January 1887 at Axminster, Devon, the son of Bedford and Elizabeth Morgan; Bedford employed as a gardener.  However, according to his Naval Records, Reginald William Morgan was born on 20th August 1884, some 2 ½ years earlier.  Which ever date is correct, Reginald was one of at least eight children, including: Arthur John born in 1877, Emily Marina born 1879, Edith Mary born 1881, Lily Mabel born in 1889, Thomas Alfred born in 1892 and twins George Edward and Oliver Clements born in 1895.


On 2nd December 1902 Reginald joined the Royal Navy, giving his date of birth as 20th August 1884, being sent for training to HMS Vivid II until July 1903.  HMS Vivid II was the Navy barracks at Devonport and had been commissioned in 1890 and operated as a training unit until 1914.  Vivid II was the Stokers and EngineRoomArtificersSchool, training recruits to fill these positions on board ship.  Reginald’s Naval Record gives his age as 18 years and 4 months (based on the date of birth stated on his records, but in reality he was probably just short of 16 years old) when he signed up for duty.  He had brown hair, hazel eyes and a ‘fresh’ complexion.  His occupation at date of entry was listed as an agricultural labourer, having been listed as a 14 year-old in the 1901 census. 


Reginald’s first appointment was as a Stoker from 28th July until 28th August 1903 aboard HMS Montagu, a Duncan-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the British Royal Navy.  After a short period back at HMS Vivid II, Reginald embarked upon a series of appointments, still as a Stoker, including: HMS Monmouth, a Duke-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy, launched in 1901; HMS Hogue, a Cressy-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy around 1900; HMS Talbot an Eclipse-class protected cruiser built for the Royal Navy in the mid-1890s; and HMS Forth a Royal Navy depot ship for destroyers and submarines and fleet repair ship.


On Reginald’s second tour of duty on HMS Forth he had been promoted as Acting Leading Stoker Morgan.  HMS Forth was followed by HMS Arrogant, a submarine depot ship from 1911.  However, in August 1913 Reginald was then sent to HMS Fisgard, one of three land-based naval training centres that had been established over concerns of the British Navy being overtaken in seagoing technical expertise.  HMS Fisgard, where Reginald was sent, was based in Portsmouth, the other two being based at Chatham and Plymouth Dockyard.  It was whilst at HMS Fisgard that Reginald rose to the rank of Leading Stoker, the position he would remain at for the rest of his naval career.  His first appointment as Leading Stoker on board a ship was on HMS Dolphin, a depot ship for submarines, in December 1912 and on 2nd April 1913, Reginald joined the crew of HMS Amphion, an Active-class scout cruiser built for the Royal Navy in 1911.  


Reginald was to remain the Leading Stoker assigned to HMS Amphion until 6th August 1914, when the ship sank at 7.18am after hitting two German mines that had been laid since the declaration of war at 11.00pm on 4th August, just 32 hours and 18 minutes into World War I, making HMS Amhpion the first British casualty of the war.  The following article, ‘On this day, 6th August 1914, the HMS Amphion was sunk by a German mine’, by Nicki Giles gives the full story of HMS Amphion and what its crew experienced in the first few hours of World War I:

One way or another, the HMS Amphion can certainly claim to have kicked off the war at sea for the British Navy.  It won the first victory on 5th August 1914, chasing down and sinking a German minelayer, but by a cruel twist of fate was itself wrecked the very next day by one of the mines that the enemy trawler had been laying.


When Britain declared war on Germany on 4th August 1914 the Light Cruiser HMS Amphion, captained by the well-respected Commander Cecil H. Fox, was the command ship for the Third Destroyer Flotilla. Having received orders to systematically search the North Sea for enemy ships, at 10am on the 5th  the cruiser was hailed by a fishing trawler which reported seeing a suspicious vessel near the Thames Estuary, ‘throwing things overboard’.


The Flotilla went to investigate, and soon spotted the SS Königin Luise (decked out in the colours of the Great Eastern Railway as a disguise) steaming rapidly back towards the German coast.  HMS Amphion fired a warning shot to try to halt the passenger ferry – the first shot of the war at sea to date – but the Königin Luise instead put on an extra burst of speed in a futile attempt to escape the British destroyers.


As ‘The Great War Volume 1’, edited by H W Wilson and J A Hammerton, reports, the ferry never stood a chance. Captain Fox immediately sent four fast destroyers, the Lance, Laurel, Lark and Linnet, in pursuit. Catching up at around midday, the ships fired four shots between them; one carried away the bridge, a second missed, and the third and fourth thudded home on the ferry’s stern, which was ripped clean away.  Within six minutes of the first shot the ship was sunk, and with her over half of her 130-man crew.  Around 50 men were saved, including Commander Bierman, her captain.  The book claims that he was so apoplectic with rage at the loss of his ship that he threatened to shoot any member of the crew that made signs of surrender as the vessel was sinking, and had himself to be taken by force in the end.


Once the prisoners were distributed among the Flotilla, most on HMS Amphion, the systematic search resumed and continued throughout the day and night.  The probable position of the mines had been reported to the authorities so that the minesweepers could come in, and on coming across a passenger boat conveying the Prince Lichnowsky, the German Ambassador at the time war was declared, back home from Britain to Germany, the Light Cruiser warned the ship of the danger from mines and passed on.


On the morning of 6th August 1914, tragedy struck.  Unbeknownst to HMS Amphion, SS Königin Luise had done her job thoroughly, extending her mines off the coast of Suffolk to a point 60 miles out to sea.  Warned as she was of the danger, the British command ship passed too close to where the ferry had been working and struck a mine at 6.30am.  The bridge was immediately engulfed in fire, and the Captain was knocked senseless and fell onto the fore-and-aft bridge.  He quickly recovered, though, and ran to stop the engine.


However, fire made the bridge inaccessible, the damage to the ship’s stern was extensive and it wasn’t possible to flood the magazine in an attempt to make the ammunition safe.  Accordingly, all that could be done was to make wounded men safe and prepare to abandon ship.  The official report on 19th August 1914 stated: ‘The men fell in with this purpose with the same composure that had marked their behaviour throughout.  All was done without hurry or confusion, and twenty minutes after the mine was struck the men, officers, and captain left the ship.’


The exercise was completed not a moment too soon.  Three minutes after all live and wounded men were off HMS Amphion, a second explosion rocked the unfortunate ship.  It seemed that she had struck a cable between two mines, and according to ‘The History of the Great European War, Volume II’, by W Stanley Macbean Knight, the blast from the second mine lit the magazine, causing an even bigger explosion.  It was so violent that one of the ship’s guns was flung 20 feet into the air.  Debris rained down on the rescue boats and attending destroyers and a shell hit Lark and killed two of the men and one German prisoner.  From HMS Amphion, 130 of the men and the Paymaster had been lost in the first blast, as well as 20 German prisoners, while the Captain, 16 officers and 135 men were saved.


The book quotes a letter from one of the survivors to his relative, written from the Naval Barracks at Devonport, as saying: ‘When it (the explosion) happened I really thought my number had gone up, there to stay, but through the care of the good God above, I have been spared a most terrible death.  It is the nearest I have been to the end, and the experience will last me a lifetime.  It is too terrible to relate.  I lost both my chums in the disaster.  One was in the wireless room decoding with the Paymaster, who also lost his life, and the other asleep in the mess.  It must have been a sudden death for both of them, which is indeed a mercy for the dear chaps.  I cannot say whether I shall go to sea again, but if they stand in need of my poor services, I am quite ready to go, and, if necessary, go altogether, for it is for the King, Country, Home and Loved Ones that everyone is fighting for.  I little expected, as I stood looking over the side, thinking to go down any minute, that I should have the privilege of once more seeing the dear ones at home.  Everything and everybody seemed to float before my eyes during those trying minutes while we stood in two lines awaiting our fate.  I have never seen such bravery and coolness in the face of death in all my life.  I cannot imagine how I managed to keep cool and collected through it all, but not a man moved until he had orders to do so.’


Captain Fox lived to fight another day, as the news extracts show. Despite his scare, he was on another ship within two days and continued to command the Third Destroyer Flotilla.


Leading Stoker Morgan was not so lucky.  Yes his life had been spared and yes he’d been rescued but he had suffered severe burns and spent several months in hospital, first at Shotley Point Naval Hospital at Harwich in Essex, before being transferred to Felbridge Park Hospital.  Reginald William Morgan was discharged from the Royal Navy on 7th October 1914, his Navy Records stating that he was ‘invalided out with a perforated wound on the left eye.


Reginald returned to his native Axminster where he married Kate Hore in 1917 and they had three children: Douglas born in 1918, Harry E born in 1921 and Stella M born in 1923.  No further details about Reginald’s life are known except he died in 1969, his birth date given as 19th January 1887. 


The Lodge Hospital, Great Frenches Park, Snow Hill

Leading up to World War I, GreatFrenchesPark was in the ownership of T Hill esq and in 1911 The Lodge (known as East Lodge) was in the ownership of W P Norton esq with Jabez Tester, a domestic gardener, in occupation.  The property was situated to the west of the village of Felbridge at Snow Hill.  East Lodge was a Victorian country house set in the area of Snow Hill known as GreatFrenchesPark, with a coach house, outbuildings and walled court yard.  The house had an impressive hallway with a fine wrought iron staircase.  The ground floor had a drawing room, dining room, front sitting room, two rear reception rooms, a front reception room, kitchen, dry cellar and five further rooms.  On the first floor there were nine bedrooms, a bathroom, shelved linen cupboards and access to the attic.   


East Lodge later became known as The Whitehouse, appropriately named as it was painted white, being home to the family of Air Chief Marshall Hugh Caswell Tremenheere Dowding.  However, on the death of Mrs K M K Dowding in 1986, the property was put up for sale in three lots.  Plans were submitted to convert the property into twelve flats but these were turned down and the conversion into three dwellings also fell through resulting in the demolition of the house and its replacement by two new properties, Green Acre and Crockstead. 


It is not known if East Lodge served as an AuxiliaryHospital for the duration of World War I but it is known that Lt. Col. J B Pym RMLI and Lt. Col. R H Freeman MC both spent time there in 1916 and 1917 respectively.

LT. COL. J B Pym

John Beville Pym was born in Cherry Burton, Yorkshire, on 16th November 1866, the son of Frederick George Pym and his wife Mary Anne Elizabeth née Layard.  John had at least 3 siblings including: Frederick Granville Edward born in Lewisham, Kent, in 1862, Charles Brownlow born in Sheerness, Kent, in 1864 and Mary Anne born in Kent in 1869; and one half-sister, Gladys Mary born in Folkestone, Kent, in 1880 after Frederick, who had lost his first wife in 1870, remarried Mary Jane Jackman in 1879. 


John Pym came from a line of Naval/Royal Marine Officers.  His father Frederick was a Colonel in the Crimean War with the Royal Marines who fought at Balaclava and Inkerman in 1854; he served on HMS Pearl as part of the Pearl’s Naval Brigade that operated ashore during the Indian Mutiny of 1857; rose to the rank of  Major General before his retirement; and died in Croydon in 1898.   John’s grandfather Richard Elsworthy Pym entered the Royal Navy in 1809 on the Bellona and was made a Lieutenant in 1815 serving on the Shark in the West Indies; in 1829 he served as Lieutenant on the Ramillies; in 1829, whilst stationed at Redcar, he rescued the Captain and his wife and all the crew of the coal brig Aurora wrecked on the North Gare for which he was awarded the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) gold medal; and in 1842 he was Lieutenant on the Spider in South America.  By his retirement in 1858, Richard Elsworthy Pym had risen to the rank of Commander and he ended his days in Woolloomooloo, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, where he died in 1876.


In 1871 John Pym and his siblings were lodging with their nurse, Ann Roberts, in the household of Mary A Linlay, a grocer, of Beverley, Yorkshire.  In 1881, John was a pupil at the RoyalNavalSchool, Lewisham High Road, New Cross, Kent, and joined the Royal Marines in 1885.  On 3rd September 1895, John Pym married Edith Lilian Rose in Alverstoke, Hampshire.  Edith had been born in Stonehouse, Devon, in 1875, the daughter of Col. Edward Lee Rose and his wife Blanche Sophie née King, the daughter of Thomas King, JP for Devon.  At the time of Edith’s birth, Edward Rose was a Captain in the Royal Marines rising to the rank of Major General in the Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI) by 1901.


On 2nd March 1896, ‘Capt. John B Pym, Seconded Adjutant 2nd Regiment Royal Guernsey Militia’ moved to St Peter’s Port, Guernsey, with his wife Edith where two of their three children were born; Violet Blanche on 4th August 1897 and Frederick Beville on 23rd May 1899.  By 1901, the Pym family had returned to England and were living at 171, Shooters Hill Road, Charlton, but had moved to Enfield Dock, Middlesex, by 1903 where their third child, John Lee, was born on 18th October.  From various articles in The Times, it is known that ‘Captain J B Pym passed his Ordnance Course’ in May 1901 and in 1906 (and until at least 1909) Major J. B. Pym of the Royal Marines, was on loan as Inspector of Small Arms and Machine Guns from the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield.  On 14th November 1910, John Pym was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and by 1911 the Pym family were living at the Royal Marine Barracks at Alverstoke, Hampshire. 


With the outbreak of World War I, in addition to their usual stations aboard ship, Royal Marines were part of the Royal Naval Division that landed in Belgium in 1914 to help defend Antwerp and later took part in the amphibious landing at Gallipoli between 25th April 1915 and 9th January 1916.  Between 18th July and 1st November 1915, Lt. Col. John Pym, assigned to Chatham Barracks in Kent as part of the 1st RMLI Battalion, was seconded to the Army as temporary Ordnance Officer 2nd class Army Ordnance Department.  Originally there had been four battalions of Royal Marines, however, after losses at Gallipoli, the Chatham and Deal Battalions amalgamated to form the 1st RMLI Battalion.  Further casualties led to the merging of the 2nd RMLI into the 1st RMLI in April 1918.


According to a family member, ‘Lt. Col. John Pym served with the RMLI in France from 1914 – 1916 when he was sent home to recover from being gassed in the trenches on the Somme.  He convalesced at Great Frenches (East Lodge, GreatFrenchesPark) which was being used as a Convalescent Home (AuxiliaryHospital) for the wounded.  His wife (Edith) and daughter (Violet) went to live on the estate to be near him and worked in the grounds as gardeners, possibly as VADs’.  John Pym must have spent time at The Lodge Auxiliary Hospital at GreatFrenchesPark as the family have several photographs of their time there.  However, military records state that he was ‘invalided to the UK due to a valvular disease of the heart on 25th November 1915’; perhaps this was the reason behind his stay at The Lodge Auxiliary Hospital. 


After John Pym’s recovery he returned to service with the Royal Marines and in 1916 (in his last entry in the Alphabetical List of the Active Officers of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines) Lt. Col. J B Pym is recorded as ‘lent to the Ministry of Munitions’.  Which ever ailment was the cause of his stay at The Lodge Auxiliary Hospital, Lt. Col Pym had moved to 33, Cecil Road, Enfield, by the end of 1916, where he died on 27th December; the cause of death given as Mitral Stenosis Regurgitation and Syncope (heart disease).  He was buried on 1st January 1917 at LavenderHillCemetery, Enfield.  As for John’s wife Edith and daughter Violet, at least Violet returned to or remained at The Lodge, GreatFrenchesPark and continued her work there as a VAD, and it is that address to which her future husband, Robert Howard Freeman, returned when wounded in September 1917 (see below).


LT. COL. R H Freeman MC

Robert Howard Freeman was born in Sudbury, Middlesex, on 14th June 1890, the son of James Payne Freeman and Emily née Mason his wife.  Robert was one of at least three children, his siblings being Eric Payne born in 1889 and Emily Violet Linnell born in 1895, both born in Wembley.  Sometime between 1891 and 1901 the Freeman family moved from Harrow Road, Harrow, to Dunsmore, Lion Road, Bexley Heath, Kent.  However, by 1911 Robert had left the family home and was lodging in the household of Frances Kate Robinson, living at Kirkless, Glossop Road, Sanderstead; working as an insurance clerk.


After the outbreak of World War I, Robert Freeman enlisted with the Territorial Force on 16th September 1914 where he was a Driver until 8th March 1915 when he was discharged and granted a Commission in the Royal Hampshire Regiment, serving in the 14th (Service) Battalion (1st Portsmouth).  The 1st Portsmouth had been formed at Portsmouth on 3rd September 1914 by the Mayor and a local Committee and was adopted by War Office on 30th May 1915.  In October 1915 they had moved to Witley and came under the orders of the 16th Brigade in the 39th Division and on 6th March 1916 they landed at Le Havre.  In 1916 the Division engaged in various actions of the Battle of the Somme including: the Battle of Thiepval Ridge between 26th and 28th September, the Battle of the Ancre Heights between 1st October and 11th November and the Battle of the Ancre between 13th and 18th November.


Between 4th March and 28th September 1916 Robert Freeman served in France and Flanders when he returned to England with influenza and was admitted to the Royal Free Hospital, Gray's Inn Road, London, until he had recuperated, being discharged on 14th October 1916.   Robert Freeman then returned to The Front and served in the Battle of Ypres in Belgium from 1st April 1917.  In 1917 Capt. Robert Howard Freeman’s Regiment were engaged in the following actions of the Battle of Ypres: the Battle of Pilckem Ridge between 31st July and 2nd August, the Battle of Langemarck between 16th and 18th August, the Battle of Menim Road between 20th and 26th September and the Battle of Polygon Wood on 26th September and 3rd October. 


Robert would have seen action in the first two battles and it was during this time that he was awarded the Military Cross (MC) for actions taken on 31st July 1917 at St Julien, Ypres.  The MC is the third level military decoration awarded to Officers and is awarded for gallantry during active operations against the enemy.  The citation for the award appeared in the London Gazette on 18th October 1917 stating: ‘He [Capt. Robert Freeman] led his Company with judgment and gallantry in the attack, gained his objective under heavy fire and then immediately re-organised the captured trenches. Throughout the next two days, under heavy shell fire, he remained cool and cheerful and set a fine example to his men’.  However, on 17th September 1917, Robert left his unit and returned to England, the reason for the return on his Arrival Report was given as ‘wounded’, probably in the Battle of Langemarck or in skirmishes that occurred between the Battle of Langemarck and the Battle of Menin Road. 


The Arrival Report records that Robert Freeman arrived back in Dover on 20th September 1917 on board HMS Princess Elizabeth, having embarked at Boulogne on 19th September.  On arrival in England he was transferred to The Lodge Auxiliary Hospital, Great Frenches Park, Snow Hill.  The Arrival Report also records that Robert was due for Leave between 29th September 1917 and 20th October 1917.  Shortly after arriving at The Lodge, Capt. Robert Howard Freeman married Violet Pym (see above) at St Philip, Kensington, London, on 29th September 1917, on the first official day of his requested Leave; their official engagement announcement having only just been reported in a London newspaper on 12th September 1917.  The family have no record of Robert returning to The Front, although they have records that he remained in service until 21st September 1920.  As for his fellow comrades, the 116th Brigade in the 39th Division was disbanded in France on 22nd March 1918, with some of the men joining to 20th Entrenching Battalion. 


Robert’s brother, Capt. Eric Payne Freeman began World War I in the Royal Army Medical Corp, but later served in the same Battalion as Robert.  Sadly Eric was killed in action on 23rd March 1918, on the second day of Battle of Saint Quentin (part of the Spring Offensive known as Operation Michael), one of 7,580 men of the Hampshire Regiment who lost their lives in World War I.  Eric was buried in Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, Picardie, France.  However, Robert did return from the war and on 12th May 1919, Robert and Violet Freeman had a son, Eric Rose, born in Portsmouth; named after Robert’s brother Eric who had been killed during the war.  Eric went on to become Major Eric Rose Freeman and served in World War II. 


As established above, Robert Freeman stayed in service until 21st September 1920.  However, his Medal Card also suggests that he was a Captain of the 1st Yemen Infantry for a period of time, retiring on 12th November 1923.  The 1st Yemen Infantry was a locally recruited infantry unit that had been raised in the Aden Protectorate during 1917-18 for service in World War I but was disbanded in 1925.  Family information records that after his military career Robert moved to Ceylon where he became Manager of the Tea and Rubber Plantation and his Medal Card confirms this, giving his address in Ceylon as  Yataderia [Estate] (a tea and rubber plantation), Undugoda.


Family information also records that in 1939 Capt. Robert Freeman was re-called to serve once again during World War II and was in Aden from 6th December 1939 to 8th March 1944.   Robert was then put in charge of a POW camp in Wells, Somerset, where he stayed until 14th July 1945 after which he returned to Ceylon.  In January 1946, the London Gazette reported that ‘Capt. R.H. Freeman, MC (60024), having exceeded the age of liability to recall, relinquished his command [in the Royal Hampshire Regiment], 4th January 1946, and is granted the honouree rank of Lt. Col.’.  By the end of Robert’s military career he had six medals in total, three from World War I (including the MC), two from World War II and one for service in the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps, a regiment of the Ceylon Defence Force that existed between 1900 and 1949, made up of reserve volunteers, mostly European, with an interest in tea and rubber plantations in Ceylon. 


World War I in correspondence


The following, published in The Times on 19th March 1915, was written by the vicar of St John’s, Felbridge, Rev. George Osborne Troop.  He had been born in Canada and was educated at King’s College, Western Nova Scotia, where he gained a BA and then a MA.  He was ordained as deacon in 1877 and as priest in 1878.  He was curate at St Paul’s, Halifax, Nova Scotia, between 1877 and 1881and briefly went as curate to the Church of the Ascension, Hamilton, Ontario, in 1882, becoming rector of St James and St John, New Brunswick, later that same year, the position he held until 1886.  He then moved to St Martin’s, Montreal, between 1886 and 1913.  In 1915, Rev. George Troop came to England and joined the parish of St John’s, Felbridge, as vicar, succeeding Rev. John Thorp who had died in service in October 1914.  Rev. George Osborne Troop remained at St John’s throughout World War I when he returned to Canada [for further information see Handout, St John the Divine – general history, SJC 07/02i].





Sir, – It may give an impetus to recruiting in England to know of the loyalty and devotion of some of the pioneers in Western Canada.  Bishop Robins, of Athabasca, tells of three men whom he had met at Athabasca Landing, who were on their way to enlist.  One of these had tramped 500 miles; another 1,000 miles, without a companion, and had had to throw away his blankets in order to struggle through.  The third had come 1,500 miles from Fort Good Hope, and had had but a single dog to assist him in carrying his supplies.  My own daughter write me from Banff, the well-know resort in the Rocky Mountains that she has been appointed Red Cross secretary, and had never been so busy in her life.  Even Italians and Chinamen were eager to help forwarding supplies.  Banff has a resident population of not more than 2,000, yet 58 men were just leaving to join one of the Canadian contingents.  The unity of the Empire is a mighty spiritual force, it rightly directed towards “the eternal goal”.


I am, Sir, yours, &c.,

G.OSBORNE TROOP, late of Montreal.

Felbridge Vicarage, East Grinstead 


The letter that follows was written by Private Stanley Terry to his family living at 15, North End, East Grinstead, in the ecclesiastical parish of St John’s, Felbridge.  Stanley Terry was born at the Brickyard, Wallage Lane, Rowfant, Sussex, in 1892, the son of James Terry and his second wife Emma née Kenward; James being the foreman brick-maker at the Rowfant brickworks.  Stanley was one of at least five children of James and Emma Terry, his siblings including: Alfred Vincent born in 1886, Ethel May born in 1888, Olive Rose born in 1890 and Walter Raymond born in 1891.  Stanley also had at least seven half-siblings of James and his first wife Isabella née Greenaway (who died in 1884), including: Fred born in 1866, Charles Henry (known as Charlie) born in 1868, Ada born about 1872, Edith Annie born in 1874, Arthur born in 1875, Ernest Frank born in 1877 and Nellie born in 1880.  In 1911 Stanley was still living at home at the Brickyard with his parents and sister Olive, and was working at a carpenter.  Sometime between 1911 and 1915 the Terry family left the Rowfant Brickyard and moved to 15, North End (interestingly the house in which Beatrice Becker née Brooker had been living in prior to their move to Chestnut Avenue, Felbridge (see above)).


Stanley Terry enlisted with the Royal Sussex Regiment on the outbreak of World War I, joining the 9th (Service) Battalion, which was formed at Chichester in September 1914 as part of Kitchener's New Army.  All original recruits were given a 'G' prefix to their regimental number and Stanley’s was Reg. no. G/3320.  After formation, the Battalion went into camp on the South Downs around Brighton where it often took part in recruitment marches on the seafront.  Here it became part of the 73rd Brigade of 24th Division.  In December 1914 they moved into billets in Portslade before moving in April 1915 to Shoreham and then on to Woking in Surrey in June 1915.   On 31st August 1915 the 9th Battalion landed at Boulogne in France and within a few weeks of arrival the Battalion was thrown into the Battle of Loos (25th – 26th September 1915), suffering heavy losses.  The Battle of Loos is summarised thus in The Long, Long Trail:

Compared with the small-scale British efforts of spring 1915, this attack of six Divisions was a mighty offensive indeed – so much so that it was referred to at the time as ‘The Big Push’. Taking place on ground not of their choosing and before stocks of ammunition and heavy artillery were sufficient, the opening of the battle was noteworthy for the first use of poison gas by the British Army. Despite heavy casualties, there was considerable success on the first day in breaking into the deep enemy positions near Loos and Hulluch. But the reserves had been held too far from the battle front to be able to exploit the successes and succeeding days bogged down into attritional warfare for minor gains.


Stanley Terry survived the Battle of Loos and his Battalion, the 9th Royal Sussex, withdrew from the trenches on 28th September 1915, the Regimental Diary recording that they had lost 19 Officers and 362 Other Ranks (ORs), either killed, wounded or missing.


Having survived the Battle of Loos, Stanley Terry wrote a letter home to his parents, dated November 1915, which tells of the conditions he was experiencing in his everyday life in Belgium and French trenches during World War I:

We have just come out of the trenches after being in for six days and up to our waists in water. While we were in the trenches one of the Germans came over to our trench for a cigarette and then back again, and he was not fired at. We and the Germans started walking about in the open between the two trenches, repairing them, and there was no firing at all. I think they are all getting fed up with it.


The conditions are also recorded in the 9th Royal Sussex Diary as ‘Wet, worse conditions than ever; small river running near supports.  5,000 sand bags placed in position on parapets and parados of front line trenches’, although there is no mention of Germans or cigarettes.  Shortly after the letter was written, Stanley and his Battalion were relieved from those trenches and had returned to Rosenhill Camp. 


The Diary extracts below (much abridged) take up the story of the 9th Royal Sussex Battalion until the death of Stanley Terry:

November 1915



Back to Rosenhill Camp [at Reninghelst , a small village south west of Ypres, close to Poperinghe], inspection of men’s feet


Marched to Steenvorde


On to Arneke – rain, snow and hail

26th – 30th

On to billets at Houlle.  Drill and training in coming out of trenches, close combat, bayonet fighting, cleaning riffles and equipment and gas helmet inspection

January 1916


1st  - 13th

Billets at Houlle, drill and training


Relieved 13th Middlesex in trenches in Zouave Wood


Relieved by 13th Middlesex, Battalion return to Belgian Chateau


Relieved 13th Middlesex Regiment in trenches


Relieved by 12th Royal Fusiliers, marched back to Asylum

February 1916



Company’s washing done


Received tins of sausages and peppermints from the Sussex Soldiers Cigarettes and Comfort’s Fund [it was noted that the fund had also given up to 66,000 Woodbine cigarettes at various times]


Had use of baths at Poperinghe [next bath recorded 2nd December 1916].  Concert in the afternoon where the Colonel sang.


Relieved 7th Queens at Ypres Cellars


Relieved 13th Middlesex in trenches


Relieved by 13th Middlesex, returned to Ypres Cellars


Relieved 13th Middlesex in same trench


Relieved by 1st Kent and Sussex Light Infantry, moved by train to billets at Poperinghe

March 1916



Moved to Belgian Chateau


Relieved 13th Middlesex in trenches


Relieved by 13th Middlesex, returned to Belgian Chateau


Relieved by 8th Queens and went back to CampE


Relieved a Canadian Battalion in billets at Meteren


Relieved 13th Canadian Battalion at Red Lodge


Relieved 14th Canadian Battalion in trenches


Relieved by 13th Middlesex, marched back to Kortepyp

April 1916



Relieved 13th Middlesex in the Line


Relieved by 13th Middlesex, returned to Red Lodge


Relieved 13th Middlesex


Relieved by 13th Middlesex, returned to Kortepyp


Gas Alarm


Small operation carried out with Lewis Gun and scouts


Gas Alarm again.  Relieved 13th Middlesex in Front Line, they’d had some casualties through gas and shell fire

May 1916



Relieved by 13th Middlesex, returned to Red Lodge


Relieved 13th Middlesex in trenches


Stinking Farm shelled again, a few casualties through a Dug Out being knocked out


Relieved by 13th Middlesex, moved to Kortepyp


Holiday granted – 2 games of football


Relieved 13th Middlesex in trenches

June 1916



Relieved by 13th Middlesex, returned to Red Lodge


Relieved 13th Middlesex in trenches


Gas attack by Germans at 12.30am.  Relieved by 26th Battalion 7th Australian Brigade, moved to St Jan Cappel.  Large number of men gassed.


Moved to Wakefield Huts near Loore


Relieved 13th Middlesex in trenches

July 1916



Relieved by 13th Middlesex, to Wakefield Huts


Moved to Kemmel Shelters


Moved to Dranoutre in barns and huts to relieve 12th Royal Fusiliers


Relieved 12th Royal Fusiliers in trenches


Relieved by 7thDevon and Cornwall Light Infantry, moved to Fletre


Marched to Godewaersvelde station and on to Montague


Marched from Montague to Corbie-sur-Somme

August 1916



Marched to Sailly-le-Sec, then on to HappyValley


Moved on to The Citadel


Moved to ‘The Crater’ just through Carndy


Moved back to Mansell Copse


Relieved 9thEast Surrey in trenches before Guillemont, sent back to Mansell Copse


Moved to Briquetterie in preparation to attack


Attacked Guillemont – 3 Officers killed, 4 wounded; 23 Other Rank (OR) killed, 133 wounded and 23 missing


Moved to ‘The Crater’ on relief


Moved to Bivouace at Sandpits


Moved to trenches on the left of Delville Wood


Germans attack and break through

September 1916



Total causalities for 30/8/16 – 4/9/16 – 1 Officer killed, 1 wounded; 27 ORs killed, 82 wounded, 6 missing


Moved to billets in Dernecourt


Moved to billets in Brucamps


Draft of 28 ORs arrived


Draft of 5 Officers and 13 ORs arrived


Moved to billets at Marnes-les-Mines


Marched to Haillicourt


23 OR reinforcements arrived.  Marched to Camblain L’Abbe to relieve 15th Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders in billets


Marched to Villers-au-Bois to relieve 3rd Battalion South African Brigade.  49 OR reinforcements arrived


6 OR reinforcements arrived


2 Officer reinforcements arrived


95 OR reinforcements arrived

October 1916



Relieved 13th Middlesex in front trenches in front of Souchez


3 OR reinforcements arrived


Relieved by 12th Royal Fusiliers, marched to billet at Camblain L’Akee


Moved in to support Cabaret House behind Viny Ridge


Marched to Estree Cauche, relieved by 15th Canadian Infantry


Marched to billets at Mazingarbe


Moved in to Line at Loos area, relieving 12th Battalion South Wales Borderers


Capt. WJF Austin reported for duty from England [wounded on 26th November]

November 1916


1st – 6th

In the Line at Loos. Casualties, 1 Officer died of wounds, 4 ORs wounded


2nd Lt. R Burnier returned to Duty, Major JL Stokes appointed Town Major of Hallicourt


2nd Lt. Hawkridge wounded on wiring party and died 6th


Moved to Reserve in North Maroc [Pas-de- Calis]


Draft of 7 OR arrived


Draft of 4 OR arrived. Captain Campbell-Johnson appointed 2nd in-Command.  Major RH Waithman appointed to Command 1st Battalion East Yorkshire Reg.


Moved into the Line at Loos. [Death of Private Stanley Terry]


The military records for Private Stanley Terry record that he was killed in action on 12th November 1916 as part of the British Expeditionary Force.  He is commemorated on 1 K 24 Philosophe Cemetery Mazingarbe, Pas-de-Calais, France.  His name also appears on the Crawley Down War Memorial as well as the Princess Alexandra Lodge of Odd Fellows memorial in St Swithuns Church, East Grinstead.  This memorial was erected to the memory of those members lost in World War I and does not only include Stanley Terry but also two other Felbridge soldiers, Albert Victor Brand and his brother-in-law Ernest Harding, both of whom also served with the Royal Sussex Regiment [for further information see Handout, War Memorials of St John the Divine, SJC, 07/02v].   Private Stanley Terry was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and 14/15 Star Medal.


Post Cards from World War I

The oldest known British picture postcard dates to 1840 and was a hand-painted picture sent on card but it was not until 1870 that the sending of postcards was introduced as a means of communication instead of a letter.  These cards, introduced by the Post Office, were without images but did include a printed stamp.  However, in the same year, the first printed picture postcard was produced in France.  This card was a souvenir postcard and was printed with the inscription ‘War of 1870. CampConlie.  Souvenir of the National Defence.  Army of Brittany’.  Although considered to be a postcard there was no space for a stamp so was probably still posted in an envelope.  The first British picture postcard appeared in 1872 and by the 1880’s significant numbers of picture postcards of various images and themes were being produced both in Britain and abroad.  Thus by the late 19th century the trade in picture postcards had been firmly established, not just as message conveyors, but also as collectable items in their own right, saved in special albums.


With the outbreak of World War I, picture postcards were the perfect medium to provide a link between soldiers who were serving at The Front and their loved ones back home.  It should be remembered that during the war, the only means of communicating news to the masses was by newspapers and weekly illustrated magazines.  However, war or military picture postcards, with their often colourful images and printed messages or captions, showed what was happening at The Front and were often on sale in Britain within days of an incident happening.  Many of these postcard images are not found anywhere else and therefore provide a wider photographic record of the World War I.


Throughout the war, postcard publishers, printers, photographers and artists helped to boost the morale of the people both at home and the troops on the war fronts and the picture postcard provided a vital link between the two.  The cards often reflected Government and public attitudes and expressed the thoughts and fears, sentiments and emotions of the millions of people who sent, received, bought and collected them.  Several types of picture postcards were manufactured including, military and war (photographs, drawings and paintings), propaganda (paintings and cartoons) and embroidered silk.  The first two categories were either photographic images or lithographic reproductions of paintings and drawings, where as the third category consisted of a piece of hand-embroidered silk, fixed onto a blank postcard by an embossed paper surround that framed the worked silk image.


Embroidered silk postcards first appeared in France in 1900, produced as a cottage industry, the designs being repeatedly embroidered onto a roll of silk by individuals in their own homes before being sent to cities, particularly Paris, for cutting, assembling as postcards and distribution.  There were a large number of designs, generally patriotic or sentimental.  Common images included regimental cap badges, flags and flowers, in bright colours, or a few words, but these were generally in a single colour thread.  Some had a little silk pocket in which a tiny pre-printed card was placed.  The embroidered silk postcards were popular with British soldiers during World War I and were often sent home to loved ones.  They were not cheap to buy and were usually left blank and mailed as souvenirs within a letter.


Alongside the picture postcards were the Prisoner of War postcards.  There were two types, the ‘First Capture’ postcard and a correspondence postcard.  A First Capture postcard was given to each prisoner on capture and at the top of the card was the nominal address of Limberg.  Although some men were held in Limberg, it seems the camp was mainly a processing centre for prisoners’ records as the postcard warned relatives ‘Do not reply to Limberg, await further information’.  These postcards were pre-printed with ‘I am a prisoner of war in Germany’ and had spaces for the prisoner to enter his personal details and the name and address of the recipient.  Prisoners were ordered to ‘Fill up this card Immediately’ and by deleting the appropriate words, the prisoner was able to inform his family that he was ‘sound, wounded or ill’.  Having been assigned to a POW Camp the second type of postcard was used for correspondence.  This was a plain postcard with a blank side for writing a personal message and a printed side, which was divided in two, the right side for the address of the recipient and the left side printed with the name of the POW Camp and space for personal details against the pre-printed entries for [Sur] Name, First name, Company and Regimental number.


Examples of some of the afore mentioned types of World War I postcards have survived within several local Felbridge families, sent by soldiers such as Private Frederick Sargent and Sapper Sidney Martin.


PTE. Frederick Ernest Sargent

Frederick Ernest Sargent, known as Fred, was born at Chapel Cottages, Felbridge, on 22nd July 1897, the son of Benjamin Sargent and his wife Emily Edith née Bingham; Benjamin employed as a bricklayer and Emily a former domestic for the Gatty family at Felbridge Park.  Fredrick was one of at least four children, his siblings including: Beatrice May born on 30th September 1895, Lilian Elsie born in 1902 and Annie Louise born in 1908.  Originally from Horley, the Sargent family had moved to 1, Chapel Cottages, Crawley Down Road, Felbridge, by 1911.  As a point of interest they were just three households away from the Brooker family, whose daughter was Beatrice Mary (see above). 


Family members recant that when World War I broke out Frederick Sargent enlisted ‘early on’ and believe he served with the Royal Sussex Regiment.  However, the Royal Sussex Regimental records are good but Fredrick’s name does not appear amongst them, in fact his name and details do not obviously appear in any surviving military records to confirm which Regiment he enlisted with or his active service during the war.  If it was with the Royal Sussex Regiment (as the family believe), they formed part of the British Expeditionary Force that saw the first military action between the Allies and Germany on the French borders in the Battle for the Frontiers. 


The Battle of the Mons was the first major action of World War I and saw the British Army attempt to hold the Line of the Mons – CondéCanal against the advancing German 1st Army and Frederick Sargent, whether as one of the Royal Sussex Regiment or some other Regiment, did fight in this battle.  Although the British fought well and inflicted disproportionate casualties on the larger German Army, they were eventually forced to retreat, due partly to the greater strength of the German Army but also to the sudden retreat of the French 5th Army that exposed the British right flank.  Losses on both sides were high with 1,600 British casualties and, from Post –War records, the German 1st Army suffered an estimated 2,145 dead or missing and 4,932 wounded between from 20th and 31st August.  Though initially planned as a simple tactical withdrawal and executed in good order, the British retreat from Mons lasted two weeks and took the British Expeditionary Force to the outskirts of Paris before it could counter attack, along with the French, at the Battle of Marne.


The unlikely ‘British victory’ against overwhelming odds at the Battle of Mons was, at the time, believed to have been through divine intervention, especially as numerous soldiers claimed to have seen visions in the sky of St. George surrounded by angels, horsemen and cavalry that held off the German Army allowing for the British retreat.  This ‘paranormal’ event became known as the Angels of Mons being noted by Brigadier-General John Charteris in a letter dated on 5th September 1914, that ‘the story of the Angels of Mons was going strong through the 2nd Corps…how the angel of the lord on the traditional white horse and clad all in white with flaming sword, faced the advancing Germans at Mons and forbade their further progress’.  Back home in Britain a similar story evolved three weeks later when journalist Arthur Machen published a short ‘fictional’ story in the newspapers called The Bowmen.  However in Machen’s story he does not mention Mons but he does write that St. George ‘with an army of medieval English bowmen appeared in the sky and annihilated the Germans with ghostly arrows’ at a critical moment during the retreat that saved the British Expeditionary Force.  Machen’s story appeared at a time when the British public was looking for a miracle and appearing in a newspaper added perceived credibility.  Whatever the reason, many people in Britain were ready to believe that heavenly intervention saved the British Expeditionary Force from total defeat and as the story gained more coverage, the bowmen turned into angels.  Regardless of what the British public believed, on his return home, Frederick Sargent was adamant that he had seen the Angels of Mons and he was a first hand witness.


The Sargent family have kept two postcards that Frederick sent home and one is an embroidered silk postcard, typical of those that could be purchased in France during the war years.  The picture has the words, ‘To my dear Mother’ embroidered across the top with a sprig of four-leaf clover intertwined.  Underneath there is a sprig of pink roses, one flower in bloom and the other as a tight bud and a sprig of forget-me-not, all the flowers imbued with significant meanings.  The four-leaf clover for luck, the pink rose the sign of admiration/appreciation and the forget-me-not, as the name suggests, forget me not.   The correspondence side is divided in two, left side for message, right side for the recipients address.  However, Frederick wrote a message across both sides and the postcard was sent hone in an envelope with other correspondence.  The message reads:



My Dear Mother


Just a card to let you know I am still alright out here, will you send the card on to Dad when you get it.  I hope all of you at home are keeping well like I am, & also Sis have you seen her yet.  I hope you have by now, well I must put to a close from your ever loving son.





& with love to G, M, I hope she is keeping well.


Goodbye Dear


PTE F Sargent

Will you give Sis her card which is in this lot, & seal it with a kiss


Unfortunately for Frederick Sargent, he was captured by the Germans as some point during the war but with no surviving military records it is not known when.  However, from a postcard in the family’s possession, Frederick was definitely detained at the Zerbst POW Camp at Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, in September/October 1918.  The camp had been opened in November 1914 and was capable of housing 15,000 men.  The men were housed in barracks of fifty-six soldiers, guarded by a militia battalion.  However, at its peak there were 100,000 men registered to the camp, the majority engaged in industrial and agricultural work in the local area.  Many prisoners of Zerbst died of malnutrition and disease and were buried in the Muchelfriedhof, which was in use between 1916 and 1920.  A monument was erected to the memory of those who passed through the Zerbst POW camp but it was badly damaged during World War II when it was used as target practice.  However, it was replaced by a second monument on the site of the former parade ground in 1990.


Whilst a POW, Frederick wrote home to his mother on at least one of the plain POW correspondence postcards, which has been retained by the family:


Zerbst, Sept. 23 1918


My Darling mother, A few lines to let you know I am still on this Earth , Hope you Sis & all are the same at home. I must thank you very much for the Fags you sent me as I got them quite safe.  have you got the Photos I sent you Dear I hope you have by now. With love from your loving son Fred.


It has been said by family members that Fred’s mother was known as ‘Granny Grizzle’ because of her habit of crying if the postman did not bring a card or letter from ‘Fred’ each time he delivered post.  Fortunately for her, Fred survived the war and returned home.


In 1920, Frederick Sargent married Mabel S C Stedman known to the family as Sissy (probably the Sis referred to on the Zerbst postcard).  Fred and Sissy had two children, Kathleen F born in 1920 and George E born in 1923.  Sadly Mabel died and on 16th April 1932 Fred re-married Ada Lilian Hodge from Lingfield and they had one child, David G (known as Danny) born in 1934.  At the time of Fred’s second marriage he gave his employment as a fruit farm labourer.  A family member recalls that Fred and his family lived at 4, Imberhorne Farm Cottages and later moved to 2, Chapel Cottages and that he was employed by the East Grinstead building firm, Martin, Smith & Foster.  They also recall that Fred was quite proud of having served in World War I and often spoke about it, sadly, the stories not written down, have mostly faded with time.  However, one story that is still remembered is that Fred said he was one of the British soldiers who played football the German soldiers during the Christmas truce of 1914.  Frederick Sargent died at the grand old age of ninety-five in 1992.


SAP. Sydney John McKay Martin

Sydney (sometimes written as Sidney) John McKay Martin was born at Vine Cottage, London Road, East Grinstead (now Armstrong’s Wine Merchants) in 1890, the son of John Martin and his wife Catherine née McKay.  Sydney had one brother, Reginald Percy born in 1896.  By 1891 the Martin family had moved to 12, North End, John working as a joiner who by 1911 was employed as an estimator for a ‘joinery works’.  Both sons followed John into the joinery trade; Sydney working as a joiner in 1911 and Reginald as a cabinet maker.

With the outbreak of World War I, Sydney enlisted with the Royal Engineers but sadly there are no obvious war records surviving for Sydney Martin.  However, from postcards in the family’s procession, Sydney must have served in France and Bonn in Germany.   In the collection of seventeen postcards there are two French and one English silk postcards embroidered with the regimental badge for the Royal Engineers, two of which have a paper surround embossed with holly and ivy leaves, all three being sent back home as Christmas cards, all with very simple messages like:

Just a card to wish you a bright and happy Christmas

With love and best wishes



The postcard from Bonn is very different and has a spray of three flowers on the front with a banner saying ‘Greetings from Bonn, Germany’ across the stems, with ‘To all at Home’ at the bottom of the card, the whole design picked out in coloured glitter.  The message on the reverse simply says:

With all Good wishes for a bright & happy Whitsuntide

Yrs. Sid


The remaining embroidered silk postcards have designs featuring flowers and/or flags, three of which were sent from ‘John’ to mum and/or dad, although the only John known in the family was Sydney’s father who, having been born in 1868, would have been possibly too old to serve in World War I.  The handwriting is similar to some of Sydney’s early messages so perhaps he used his second name on the odd occasion.   


The family also have a postcard in their collection of St Dunstan’s Hostel that was founded in Regent’s Park in 1915 to help servicemen blinded during the war, together with a set of five cards that were produced to help raise funds for St Dunstan’s.  The five pictorial postcards were printed in colour and priced at 6d a set.  English war artist and illustrator Richard Caton Woodville painted three of the pictures: Blinded For You, When Night Sets in The Sun is Down and Memories; English engraver and illustrator George Soper produced one picture entitled Pals; and English illustrator Thomas Henry produced the fifth picture captioned You've Not Said How I've Growed, Daddy.  On the back of each card is a text about some of the work done by St Dunstan's.  None of this set of cards have been written on and as the family record that Sydney was gassed during the war, perhaps it was the family’s way of supporting the work of St Dunstan’s.   


Sydney Martin survived the war and returned home to North End.  In 1921 Sydney married Sarah Braithwaite Tayler, who had been born in Kings Norton in 1892.   They had one son, Eric John, born in 1922 and by 1928 Sydney’s family were living at 12, North End.  As a point of interest, Eric too followed his father, uncle and grandfather into the carpentry and joinery trade.  Sydney died at the age of seventy-eight in 1969.



The next Handout in the series will cover some of the servicemen who fought in World War I who have connections with members of the Felbridge community such as L. Corp. William Howard Roberts and the four Kenward brothers who were related to the Wheeler/Pattenden families; a plea of exemption from the Farm Bailiff at Imberhorne Farm for Alfred Pattenden, the only man left to farm Tilkhurst Farm; Military Officers who came from or decided to move to the local area including: Lt. Ivan Donald Margary, Capt. Andrew Duncan MacNeill and his brother William MacKinnon MacNeill, Major Stewart Inglis and Major Douglas Stern; and the Women’s Garden Union that was established at Wiremill as a direct result of World War I.


Post Script

There are probably many more men and possibly women who served in World War I from the Felbridge area but with the expansion of Felbridge as a village and the demise of old Felbridge residents their names have become a distant or lost memory.  Also without surviving military records their services have faded into irretrievable history, so apologies for those who have not been included in this series of Handouts.

Lest We Forget




Special, Felbridge Remembers World War I, SP. SJC 07/14, FHWS

Handout, War Memorials of St Jon the Divine, SJC 07/02v, FHWS

Handout, 1911 Sale of the Felbridge Estate, SJC 01/11, FHWS

Handout, Park Farm, JIC/SJC 05/16, FHWS

Handout, Downfall of Henry Willis Rudd, SJCSJC 11/02, FHWS

Handout, Newchapel House, SJC 11/02, FHWS

Handout, Lutyens’ Grand Design for Felbridge, SJC 07/03, FHWS

British Red Cross www.redcross.org.uk

Handout, Blounts of Imberhorne, JGS/SJC 01/06, FHWS

Women’s Land Army, www.historylearningsite.co.uk

The Women's Land Army in Pictures by Amanda Mason

Documented memories of W Searle, FHA

Handout, History of Cuttinglye, JIC/SJC 09/12, FHWS

Census Records, 1841 – 1911

Birth, Marriage and Death index, www.freebmd.org.uk

Memory lane leads to school, Local Newspaper article, 1982, FHA

Handout, Felbridge Herb Gatherers, SJC 01/04, FHWS

FelbridgeSchool Log, FHA

On this day, 6th August 1914, the HMS Amphion was sunk by a German mine, by Nicki Giles, pub 2014, FHA

Documented memories of Lt. Col Pym and Lt. Col. R H Freeman MC, by L Wooley, FHA

Various articles in The Times, 4th May 1901, 16th Nov.1910, FHA

Canadian Almanac Miscellaneous Directory for the year 1909, FHA

Official History of the Canadian Forces in the Great War 1914-1919, General Series, Vol. I

Alphabetical List of the Active Officers of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, www.ancestry.co.uk

Arrival Report, Capt. R H Freeman, FHA

Robert Howard Freeman (Royal Hampshire Regiment), www.foreces-war-records.co.uk

The Hampshire Regiment in 1914-1918, www.1914-1918.net/hants

Capt. R Freeman, MC, article in the London Gazette, 18th Oct. 1917, FHA

Interesting Engagement, Pym/Freeman, a London newspaper article, 1917, FHA

Handout, St John the Divine – general history, SJC 07/02i, FHWS

Canadian Keenness, The Times, 19th Mar 1915, FHA

Stanley Terry War Records, www.ancestry.co.uk 

The Long, Long Trail, www.longlongtrail.co.uk

9th Royal Sussex Regimental Diary, Ref: RSR MS 7-17, WSRO

Handout, War Memorials of St John the Divine, SJC, 07/02v, FHWS

Special, Felbridge Remembers World War I, SP. SJC 07/14, FHA

World War I postcards, www.worldwar1postcards.com

Documented memories of Jean Fox, FHA

Smoke without fire: A re-examination of the Angel of Mons by Steve MacGregor, FHA 

Angels of Mons postcards, www.worldwar1postcards.com

Documented memories of Sheila and Clive Martin, FHA

St Dunstan’s – The house of miracles by Tony Allen, www.worldwar1postcards.com


Texts of all Handouts referred to in this document can be found on FHG website: www.felbridge.org.uk

SJC 09/16