HoC - Research Exhibits - Commemorative Booklet - 1918

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1918 was characterised by the German Spring offensive followed by the Allied counter-offensives during the summer, involving American troops for the first time. The Hindenburg Line broke in September and the Armistice came into effect at 11 am on 11 November.


John Polmeor Trevorrow (b. 1889, d. 21st March 1918)

John was born in the parish of Devenport, Cornwall, and later moved to London. He enlisted with the address 31 Burnaby Gardens, Chiswick. John was Private 54496 2nd/5th Battalion Manchester regiment. During WW1 they were engaged in the Western European theatre of war. John died in action in Flanders, France on 21st March 1918 aged 19 years. He is buried in Pozieres cemetery in Picardy, France.


Thomas William Dodridge (b. 1895 d. 13 April 1918)

Thomas was born in Hereford, the son of Francis Ellery Dodridge and Mary Eva Dodridge (nee Elliott). The family lived at 100 Wavendon Avenue.

Thomas served with the 3rd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards. He is commemorated on the “St Michael” window in the Lady Chapel of St. Michael’s which says that he was “missing after action 13 April 1918”. Thomas died during the defence of Hazebrouck during the German Spring Offensive, where for two days the 4th Guards Brigade (including 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards) blocked the German advance towards Hazebrouck. So fierce was the fighting that the Brigade suffered 80% casualties. Thomas is also commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium.


William Frederick Rowson (b. 1896 d. 16 April 1918, aged 21) Lance Corpl 260269, South Wales Borderers (Monmouth), 6th Bn, Late 13th Kensington Bn, London Regiment

William’s parents were George and Margaret Selina Rowson, William was the second son (of 4) in a family of 7. By the time of the 1911 Census, the family were living at 6 Wavendon Avenue, Chiswick.

He enlisted in the Army as a Territorial member of the 13th (Princess Louise’s) Kensington Battalion, London Regiment, (regimental no 782199), signing up for 4 years on 12th September 1915, at Kensington. William was to serve in the army for 2 and a half years, much of this time in active service in northern France. He had been transferred early on to the 6th Battalion of the South Wales Borderers.

He was gravely injured with a head injury on April 10th 1918. His injuries were recorded as sustained in Flanders, likely to have been when his battalion mounted an attack on Ploegsteert, Belgium. He was transferred to Etaples but died of his wounds 16th April 1918 aged 21. His remains are interred at the Etaples Military Cemetery, Nord-Pas-de-Calais in France.


Lionel Frank Burgess (b. 1896 d. 26 May 1918), 7th Battalion Royal Fusiliers

Lionel was the son of Thomas and Fanny Burgess and had two sisters (Kathleen and Eleanor) and a brother, Thomas. In 1911 the family were living at 2 Herbert Gardens, Chiswick but by 1918 they lived in West Kensington.

Lionel had served in the Middlesex Regiment prior to the Royal Fusiliers. A great nephew provided the following information about Lionel: on leave he told his father of his imminent transfer to the Machine Gun Corps but was forbidden, by his father, to tell his mother. The Corps, ‘..a model of ruthless efficiency and operational supremacy’ suffered enormous casualties and earned the grim nickname of ‘The Suicide Club’.

Lionel died on May 26th 1918 and is buried in Mensil Communal Cemetery Extension, France. His great niece remembers that her grandmother, Lionel’s sister, named her own son Lionel in remembrance.


Stawell William Wade (Billy) Garnett (b. 1871 d. 20 July 1918)

Unlike others who pretended to be older than they were so that they could enlist, Billy was over the 38 age limit for Australian soldiers when War broke out. His great grandson relates that, as a successful horse breeder, Billy’s age was known in the district, so he rode 250 miles from Mildura to a town, Bendigo, where no-one would know his real age. There he enlisted as an Army driver.
He served in France but was gassed and repatriated to Australia. He is buried in Mildura cemetery, We believe that Billy’s connection with Chiswick was through his sister Flossie who lived at 25 Ellesmere Road.


Sergeant Stanley Northcote Walter (b. 1891 d. 26 October 1918).

At the age of 22, Stanley left his job as his father’s jewellery assistant and his home with his parents and younger sister at 59 Ellesmere Road, Chiswick and enlisted with the British South Africa Police.

In October 1915 he entered the theatre of war and fought in Rhodesia. The campaign was a long and gruelling fight against the German forces in East Africa lead by the notoriously successful General Lettow-Vorbeck. Disease killed 30 men to every soldier killed in battle and Stanley died of pneumonia on 26th October 1918 at Salisbury, Rhodesia where he is buried in the Harare (Pioneer) Cemetery.

But the Armistice did not spell the end of the line of victims of the War. [Two] of the men on St Michael’s Roll of Honour died after the War but as a result of it.


2nd Lieutenant Clarence Douglas Slatford MC (b. 1891 d. 31 October 1919)

Clarence Slatford lived with his parents, 3 brothers and 2 sisters in Sutton Court Road Chiswick and in 1911 was working for his father as a corn broker.

Clarence joined the Royal Fusiliers in 1914 and went to France with the Expeditionary Force in 1915 but was taken seriously ill with pneumonia in 1916 returning to England on a hospital ship. He then enlisted as 2nd Lieutenant with the 1/7th Essex Regiment in 1917 and joined the Palestine Expeditionary Force arriving in Alexandria in August 1918.

Despite being dogged by illnesses, including dysentery and influenza, throughout the War, he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry and devotion to duty whilst in Egypt. On 19 September 1918 at Kefr Kasim, whilst in command, his company came under very heavy machine-gun fire while advancing. He rushed forward to the leading wave and by his example encouraged them to continue their advance. He then quickly re-organised the remainder of his company.
Clarence was demobilised in June 1919 but died of pneumonia following appendicitis on 31 October 1919 aged 28 and is buried in Highgate Cemetery.