The Fairlight Victims of WW1 and WW2 and our War Memorials – Part 2

An article in four parts by Paul Draper published in Fairlight News in 2018


Part 2 – The WW1 victims associated with Fairlight and how they are remembered

In the previous magazine we introduced the subject of our victims from both wars. This time we will look at WW1 and all those men associated with Fairlight.

Inside St. Andrew’s church we have three plaques to our victims, one for WW1 victims, another for WW2 victims and a third, for one man, Hubert Samuel Alston Turner who died on 31st July 1917 in Flanders.

As we can see the main plaque names nineteen men, including 2nd Lt. Turner, who has the above separate plaque from his family.

The nineteen men are:-

1) Private Charles Gilbert, 2204 West Kent Yeomanry (Queen’s Own), who died 31st August 1916. He is remembered at Thiepval.

2) Ordinary Seaman Frank C Cook A B, J/17465 H.M.S. Bulwark, Royal Navy, who died 26th November 1914 aged 18, son of Albert and Elizabeth Cook. He is remembered at Portsmouth Naval Cemetery.

3) Private Henry Charles Beeching, 1716, 2 Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment, who died 26th August 1915, aged 26, son of Luke and Ellen Beeching of Pett Road, Fairlight.

He is remembered at Vermelles British Cemetery.

4) Private L Osborne, 11388, 1st Bn. Coldstream Guards, who died 7th July 1916 aged 20, son of Anthony and Fanny Osborne of Black Brooks, Guestling.

He is remembered at Essex Farm Cemetery.

5) Boy 2nd class Jesse George Dadswell, J/53152, H.M.S. Ganges, Royal Navy, who died on 16th August 1916, aged 15. Jesse died of pneumonia in Shotley, Suffolk, England and is remembered with a CWGC stone at Fairlight, near the entrance to St. Andrew’s.

6) Private Peter James Harrod, 7743, 9th Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment, who died 15th August 1916, aged 22, son of Benjamin and Martha Harrod of Middle Road, Ore.

He is remembered at Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval.

7) Major Alfred John Martineau, 19th Siege Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery, who died 17th April 1917, aged 46. He was the son of Alfred and Maria Martineau and husband of E. Louisa Martineau of 6 Evelyn Terrace, Brighton. (a descendant of the Martineau family of Fairlight Lodge).

He is remembered at Bully-Grenay Communal Cemetery, British Extension.

8) Able Seaman Leonard John Burton, Sussex Z/413, Hood Bn. R.N.Div., Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, who died on 22nd April 1917.

He is remembered at Dulsans British Cemetery, Etrun.

9) Private Reginald James Marchant, TF/201997, 4th Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment, who died 4th May 1917, aged 19, son of Albert and Emily Marchant of Church Farm, Fairlight.

He is remembered at Savona Memorial. (His brother, Albert, also died in action – see below).

10) Private Albert Henry Marchant, 240660, 1st/5th Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment, who died 30th April 1918, aged 24, son of Albert and Emily Marchant of Church Farm, Fairlight.

He is remembered at Granezza British Cemetery. (His brother, Reginald, also died in action – see above).

11) Serjeant George R Suters, 201407, 2nd/1st Bn. London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), who died 16th June 1917.

He is remembered at Arras Memorial.

12) 2nd Lt. Hubert Samuel Alston Turner, 2nd Bn. Yorkshire Regiment, who died 1st August 1917, aged 20, the only son of Herbert and Geraldine Turner (a descendant of the Martineau family of Fairlight Lodge). He has a separate plaque at St. Andrew’s.

He is remembered at Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

13) Private Charles Kemp, G/17960, 13th Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment, who died 31st July 1917, aged 34, son of Charles and Kezia Kemp.

He is remembered at Buffs Road Cemetery. (Fairlight residents visited his grave in 2014).

14) 2nd Lt. Pruett Mullens Dennett, 208th Sqdn, Royal Air Force, who died 2nd June 1918, aged 19. He was son of Mrs E L Sandy (formerly Dennett) of 71 Preston Road, Brighton and the late R M Dennett.

He is remembered at Arras Flying Services Memorial.

15) Private William Victor Long, 245369, West Kent Yeomanry (Queen’s Own), who died 31st August 1916.

He is remembered at Thiepval Memorial.

16) Driver Albert Cox, 141035, 68th Field Coy. Royal Engineers, who died 15th January 1918, aged 32, grandson of Jesse Cox of Cecil Cottage, Pett Level Road. (His name is engraved on the gravestone of Jesse Cox, near the entrance to St. Andrew’s).

He is remembered at Boulogne Eastern Cemetery.

17) Lt. Charles William Jemmett, 5th Bn. The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) who died 15th March 1918, aged 32. He was son of William Francis Bond and Edith Jemmett of Ashford, Kent and husband of Dorothy Elizabeth Cotterell (formerly Jemmett) of Sussex House, Winchester.

He is remembered at Brissay-Choigny Churchyard.

18) Private F R Burton, 4013, 3rd Bn. Australian Infantry, A.I.F., who died 18th September 1918.

He is remembered at Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.

19) Captain Alexander Gordon Wynch Murray M.B.E., T.F. Adjt. Staff School (Cambridge), Officers’ Training Corps, who died 15th February 1919, aged 34. He was son of Alexander Elder and Mary Charlotte Irene Murray.

He is remembered at Walmer (St. Mary) Old Churchyard, Kent.

Albert Cox and Henry Charles Beeching are also commemorated on the Pett War Memorials.

The above nineteen men, from or associated with Fairlight, are all listed on the WW1 plaque inside St. Andrew’s, but two more men are buried at Fairlight with their families and the CWGC attend their graves:-

20) Captain Robert Cecil Burton, 2nd Bn. Rifle Brigade, aged 32 who died 16th March 1915, son of Mrs E A Burton of 18 Mansion Place, Queen’s Gate, London. The family grave inscription states “Died at Boulogne of wounds received at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, France”. The burial register gives address as St. Leonard’s Lodge, St. Leonards-on-Sea.

The CWGC state that he is remembered at Fairlight (St. Andrew’s) Churchyard.

21) Lt. Stuart Underwood Baily, 490th (Home Counties) Field Coy. Royal Engineers, who died 15th September 1918, aged 32. He was son of Cornwallis and Marion Baily of 6 Dane Road, St. Leonards-on-Sea. The CWGC state that he is remembered at Fairlight (St. Andrew’s) Churchyard.

Two other brothers, William Guy Lloyd-Worth and Frederick John Lloyd-Worth, are also associated with Fairlight. The records show that their family were from French Court Farm which, at that time, was located in the enlarged Fairlight Parish. Frederick is remembered at Lone Pine Memorial, but William, who died only in February 1921, is remembered at Netley Military Cemetery.

Finally, there are more names mentioned on the independent memorial stone in the Catholic section at Fairlight. I will look at these in the final part of this series.

We do have some photos and newspaper articles on some of the above men. Whilst we have such information for some, we do not for most and so, to be even, I am not including this, except for the youngest victim. Jesse Dadswell stands out as being only 15 years old and in fact, never left these shores, dying from pneumonia at the land-based H.M.S. Ganges training establishment in Suffolk. His family worked at Fishponds Farm, Barley Lane and lived at Tile Kiln Cottages, both then part of Fairlight Parish, and his nephew, Chris, and other family are still based locally. They have supplied some information for us to share.

If anyone has additional information relating to any of the above or knows of the family or friends of any of the victims can they please contact me (details at the front of the magazine). We know that some descendants still live in the area and we would like to hear from them. For further reading, can I suggest that readers refer to appendix 2 in Haydon Luke’s book ‘Fairlight, a Sussex Village by the Sea’.

To be continued.


By Paul Draper.

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