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Threapwood's Military Past

From the Civil War of the 17th Century to more modern conflicts Threapwood has played its own small part. As our group gathers information about the people and events involved their details will be added here.

War Memorial - by Dorothy Powell

Like many villages throughout the UK Threapwood has its own memorial to Servicemen and Servicewomen who fell in past conflicts. The Threapwood War Memorial is located at the junction of Sarn Road and Chapel Lane and is extremely well maintained throughout the year by local volunteers.

 

The monuments inscription reads;

This monument was erected by the parishioners and friends in Grateful Memory of the men from Threapwood who having responded to their countries call fell in the Great War 1914 - 1918.

We are never going to forget the debt we owe these men who saved our nation from something worse than death their warfare is accomplished, and they have gained their reward.

The memorial is surrounded by well maintained and attractive seasonal plants throughout the year.

 

The memorial is inscribed with the names of both local people and those who had some form of association with the village and, unlike many other war memorials across the United Kingdom, includes only names from the Great War. In January 1920 the children of Threapwood National School wrote an essay about the unveiling of the War Memorial which had been unveiled by General Grattan assisted by Colonel H. McLean and Reverend Plaskett.

 

  Inscriptions (Click to enlarge)

 

Service Details

The details of each persons service record including the place of their burial is given below. Most service people were buried in cemeteries created and now maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. By following the links below it is possible to see either an image of the CWG Cemetery or the actual headstone for each individual. The names are in the order inscribed on the memorial.

Name Rank & Number Service Died Age Where Buried
           
George
MATTHEWS

Private

9925

King's Shropshire Light Infantry
(1st Bn.
5/3/1915 18 Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Belgium
           
Joseph
STEVENSON

Private

16591

King's Shropshire Light Infantry
(6th Bn.)
12/10/1915 21 Rue-de-Bacquerot No.1 Military Cemetery, Laventie, Pas de Calais, France.
           
Oswald
LLOYD

Private

25805

Welsh Regiment (2nd Bn.) 9/9/1916 21 Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L'abbe, France
           
Albert
PALIN

Private

31662

South Lancashire Regiment
(8th Bn.)
16/6/1917 21 Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France.
           
William Lodwick
BARRETT

Private

239287

Herefordshire Regiment
attached to the
King's Shropshire Light Infantry (5th Bn.)
22/8/1917 21 New Irish Farm Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
           
Alfred
DAVIES

Private

52703

Cheshire Regiment
(1st Bn.)
7/10/1917 29 Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
           
Edward
STEVENSON

Private

203653 & 4677

Duke of Edinburgh's Wiltshire Regiment (1/4th TF Bn.)
formerly Cheshire Regiment
18/10/1917 34 Hadra War Memorial, Alexandria, Egypt.
           
William
MANFORD

Corporal

14962

King's Shropshire Light Infantry
(7th Bn.)
13/2/1918 23 Boyelles Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France.
           
William MORT

Gunner

160900

Royal Garrison Artillery 20/5/1918 31 Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No. 3, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

 

Biographical Notes

We have tried to collect as much biographical detail available to us for each person remembered on the memorial. We would be happy to add further details from any friends and relatives.

George Mathews

Private George Matthews 9925 King’s Shropshire Light Infantry 1st. Bn.was born at Chalk Farm, Middlesex on the 12th. January 1896 to Threapwood born George Matthews and his wife Jane. The family were in Poplar, Middlesex in 1891, in Toxteth Park, Liverpool in 1901, in Threapwood on 14 July 1902 when George enrolled at Threapwood National School. It is thought George left school on 15th. January 1907 and was last recorded living in Whitchurch in 1911. He died on 5th. March 1915 aged 18 years and is commemorated on Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Belgium.

Edward Stevenson

Private Edward Stevenson 203653 Duke of Edinburgh’s Wiltshire Regiment 1/4th.Bn. and formerly 4677 Cheshire Regiment, son of William and Elizabeth Stevenson of Threapwood died on 18th. October 1917 of Malaria and is also commemorated on the Malpas War Memorial. He was a farm labourer lodging with the Kettell family at Overton Common, Malpas in 1911.

Joseph Stevenson

PRIVATE Joseph Stevenson 16591 King’s Shropshire Light Infantry 6th. Bn. Born at Overton, Malpas son of William and Elizabeth Stevenson died 12th October 1915 buried Rue-de-Bacquerot No.1. Military Cemetery, Laventie, Pas de Calais, France. Also commemorated on the Malpas War Memorial. He was working at Wychough Farm as a pig man for Thomas Done in 1911.

Oswald Lloyd

Private Oswald Lloyd 25805 Welsh Regiment 2nd. Bn. was born in Threapwood on 10 June 1895 the son of Sarah Jane Lloyd , enrolled at Threapwood National School on 3rd. September 1900 and lived at Bootle Cottage (now called Windsor Cottage) Oldcastle Lane. He died on 9th.September 1916 aged 21 years and is buried in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt - L’Abbe, Somme, France. He was living with his Grandmother Betsy Lloyd in Threapwood at the time of the 1911 Census. His Grandmother is listed as a "Farmer" in 1911 so presumably Oswald, at that time aged 16, worked on the farm. At the time of his enlistment in 1914 he lived at Rose Villa in Threapwood and was listed as a Seaman. He noted his mothers name as "Lissie" presumably a nick name and apparently sported a number of Tattoos on his arms when he enlisted.

Albert Palin

Private Albert Palin 31662 South Lancashire Regiment 8th. Bn. the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Palin was born on 2nd. August 1895 at Saighton, Chester and lived in Chester in 1901 with his parents. He attended Threapwood National School from 16th. October 1906. People who knew Albert say he spoke with a stammer. The 1911 Census showed Albert working on a farm and together with his sister Margaret living in Frontier House with his Uncle, Charles Palin. He died on 16th. June 1917 aged 21 years and is commemorated at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France.

William Lodwicke Barrett

Private William Lodwicke Barrett 239287 King’s Shropshire Light Infantry 5th. bn. was born at Threapwood and baptised at St.John’s Church the son of James and Eliza Ann nee Clarke. The family lived up Greaves lane, the house no longer there. William was educated at Threapwood National School. He died on 22nd August 1917 aged 22 years and is buried in New Irish Farm Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. His father was recorded as being a Chauffeur in William's will dated 1919 in which he left £42.1s.2d.

Alfred Davies

Private Alfred Davies 52703 Cheshire Regiment 1st.Bn was born in Malpas and baptised at  St.Oswald Church, Malpas on 2nd. January 1889 the son of Henry & Annie Davies. Their house in Threapwood was on the corner of Sarn Road and Back Lane.  He died on 7th. October 1917 aged 29 years and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. He worked with his father as a farm labourer at the time of the 1911 Census.

William Manford

Corporal William Manford 14962 King’s Shropshire Light Infantry 7th. Bn.The son of Joseph & Mary Ann Manford was born  on 3 November 1895, baptised William Powell Manford on 17th. January 1895 and enrolled at Threapwood National School on 20 April 1898. He died on the 13th. February 1918 aged 23 years and is buried in Boyelles Communal Cemetery extension, Pas de Calais, France. On the 5th. March 1918, almost a month after his death, a note in the daily Log Book of Threapwood School stated that news had been received that Willie Manford had been shot and that he had won the MILITARY MEDAL.  At the time of the 1911 Census and aged 16 William was working as a cow hand for local farmer Jane Moore.

William Mort

Gunner William Mort 160900 Royal Garrison Artillery was son of Joseph and Mary Mort who lived on Greaves Lane East. In 1911 he was a farm labourer for Mrs. Matthews at Halghton Hall, Bangor on Dee and on the 4th. February 1913 he married Edith Ellen Jones at St.Oswald Church, Malpas. He joined up at Wrexham and died on 20th. May 1918 aged 31 years. He is commemorated in Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No.3, West- Vlaanderen, Belgium, His name is also on the War Memorial at Bangor on Dee and the North Wales Heroes Memorial Arch, Bangor, Gwynedd he having worked in Bangor on Dee parish. He and his wife Edith lived at Sunnyside in Chorlton Lane prior to his enlistment. His mother is remembered as a person who did a lot of knitting for people locally.

Military Medal

As mentioned above Threapwood's contribution to the war was recognised by the award of the Military Medal in May 1917 to William Manford who died the following February. The Military Medal was also awarded to two soldiers not named on the memorial namely Corporal Richard Stevenson 16779 6th Battalion Shropshire Light Infantry. Richard, known as Dick, was the younger brother of Edward and Joseph named above. Sergeant Lancelot Vaughan 27321 Royal Garrison Artillery of Tallarn Green and Threapwood was also awarded the Military Medal in August after the war had ended. It is believed he also was awarded the Croix de Guerre.

  The Military Medal (MM) was awarded from 1916 till 1993 and was awarded for bravery in battle on land.Over 115,000 awards were made for actions during the First World War.
     
  The Croix de guerre was awarded as an individual or unit award to those soldiers who distinguished themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with the enemy. The medal is awarded to those who have been "mentioned in despatches", meaning a heroic deed or deeds were performed meriting a citation from an individual's headquarters unit.


Threapwood's Volunteers

The Whitchurch Herald recorded the names of many local men who volunteered. It's sad to see the names of some of those listed below feature on the Memorial.

As reported in the WHITCHURCH HERALD  6th. December 1914

THREAPWOOD men who had gone to war.

ALFRED WILLIAMS
WILLIAM MANFORD 
GEORGE MATTHEWS    
WILLIAM MATTHEWS     King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
ALF PENLINGTON
ELLIS MANFORD            Royal Welsh Fusiliers
JAMES L LARGE
FRED CRUMP
WALTER JONES             South Lancashires
LEVI MANFORD             R F A
THOMAS ROSCOE          R F A   NCO Drilling
WILLIAM JAMES
FRED GROOM
NUGENT BACCONS        R F A

Others, from or having connections to THREAPWOOD, who joined up later.

WILLIAM LODWICK BARRETT
JIM BLYTHING
WILLIAM BLYTHING
ALFRED DAVIES
JOHN DIGBY
OSWALD LLOYD
WILLIAM MORT
ALBERT PALIN
EDWARD STEVENSON
JOSEPH STEVENSON
RICHARD STEVENSON
LANCELOT VAUGHAN

Gallery

The group has just a few photographs of local men who served in the various conflicts. The small gallery below includes those that have been made available. If you have a photograph of a local Threapwood person you would like included please contact our Chairman.

  • Dick Green Dick Green Joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner in 1916 aged 27.
  • Maurice Simmons Maurice Simmons Maurice was killed whilst driving a lorry which went on fire in Germany just before being de-mobbed. He was due back at Broads Shop had he returned.

 

A surprising Find - by David Roderick

During the summer of 2010,whilst working on a drainage ditch on the southern boundary, western side of the field belonging to myself and my wife Sarah, adjoining Chapel Lane,Threapwood, I found a metal object, not initially identifiable as anything in particular. After cleaning, the letters SWB were visible, below the form of a sphinx and the title Egypt. Closer examination revealed that the bent and battered object was a cap badge of the South Wales Borderers, The Royal Regiment of Wales.

  A rather battered badge found in a drainage ditch.

The sphinx, superscribed Egypt was awarded as a battle honour to the 24th Regiment (later to become the South Wales Borderers) in July 1802, after a successful campaign against the forces of Napoleon in Egypt. The sphinx was later used as the centre piece of the cap badge and the collar badges of the South Wales Borderers.

An unblemished version.

Although no battalions of the SWB were based in Threapwood or the immediate area, the following battalions were based in the midlands, north west of England and north Wales:

10th (Service) battalion (1st Gwent). 1914 moved to Colwyn Bay and attached to 130th Brigade, 43rd Division.

9th (Reserve) Battalion. 10th April 1915 became a reserve battalion and moved to Kinmel Park (Rhyl).

3rd (Reserve) Battalion. moved in June 1915 to Hightown near Liverpool for duty as part of the Mersey Garrison.

12th (Service) Battalion (3rd Gwent). Moved in July 1915 to Prees Heath.

13th (Reserve) Battalion. Formed at St Asaph in July 1915 as a Reserve Battalion. Moved in September to Kinmel Park(Rhyl).

14th (Reserve) Battalion. Formed at Prees Heath in September 1915 as a Reserve Battalion. Moved to Conwy in October 1915 but moved on to Kinmel Park (Rhyl) in January 1916.

The insignia of the South Wales Borderers appears on the headstone of A. Diggory Private 33657 died 1920 in St Johns Church Yard in Threapwood. I assume that Private Diggory was a resident of Threapwood.


Local Military Historian John Minoprio writes:


I am delighted to see David Roderick's happy find in honour of that famous regiment The South Wales Borderers. It is remarkable that, in these days of Ministry of Defence cuts, the South Wales Borderers had 18 battalions in the Great War. The Regiment proved itself more than 200 years before World War 1 when it won its first battle honour at Blenheim.The 24th is best known for its heroic stand in the Zulu War in January 1879.

Having been almost completely wiped out at Isandlwana, on the same day at Rorke's Drift, 104 men of the South Wales Borderers beat off repeated attacks by 3000 Zulus for about 12 hours. For its valour in these actions the Regiment won 9 Victoria Crosses and the honour of bearing a wreath of silver laurels attached to the Queen's Colour. My own link with the regiment was formed a dozen miles from Threapwood, at the Officer Cadet School at Eaton Hall more than 50 years ago.

Pictured below is 17 Platoon C Company photographed against the Gothic grandeur of the Hall designed by the famous Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse.We were young, but we were in very good hands. The Company Commander, Major R.H.W. Fowler, seated front row, was a South Wales Borderer.

Double Click to enlarge.

 

Cheshire Regiment - Boer War

 

The 2nd Battalion sailed on the Britannic (pictured right) about 7th January 1900, arriving about the 27th. Along with the 2nd South Wales Borderers, 1st East Lancashire, and 2nd North Staffordshire, they formed the 15th Brigade under Major General A G Wavell, and part of the VIIth Division under Lieutenant General Tucker.

The Cheshires had no very serious fighting on the way from Modder River to Bloemfontein. In the action at Karee Siding on 29th March the infantry employed was the VIIth Division, and this battalion was said to have done well. They had about 22 wounded. At the Zand River the battalion was sent forward on the evening of the 9th May to seize and hold a drift. This they successfully accomplished, and the brigade crossed early on the 10th, clearing the enemy from strong positions north of the river.

After the occupation of Johannesburg the 15th Brigade was detailed to garrison the town, and the Cheshire Regiment long remained in that vicinity. Eight officers and 12 non-commissioned officers and men were mentioned in Lord Roberts' final despatch. On 5th December 1900 the battalion relieved the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers as garrison of Frederickstad. In January 1901 part of the battalion was holding a post on the line south of Johannesburg when the enemy attacked fiercely. The attack was very gallantly driven off.

In 1901 the battalion furnished the infantry of columns under Sir H Rawlinson, Colonel E C Williams, Colonel Hickie, and other commanders, which did much arduous but useful work in the South-West Transvaal. Three officers, 1 non-commissioned officer, and 1 private were mentioned by Lord Kitchener for good work during the later phases of the war. In the final despatch 5 officers and 4 non-commissioned officers were mentioned.

St John's Church in Threapwood has a memorial to William Gostage who was killed at Bloemfontein on 29th December 1901 aged 21 years. Family sources recall that he was killed on Horseback, apparently a white horse.

In the photograph below William can be seen third from the right on the bottom row probably aboard the SS Brittanic when it sailed to South Africa on January 1900. Photo courtesy of Ron Jones.

 

 

Cheshire Regiment c 1900

 

Mystery CWG Headstone

In about 2015 the Commonwealth War Graves Commission placed a memorial in the churchyard of St John Threapwood to a Private A Diggory. The only available information about him is that inscribed on the memorial. If there is anyone with more information about this memorial to help make a more fitting tribute please let our Chairman know.

  CWG Memorial in St Johns Churchyard.

 

 

 

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