St.Martin of Tours,
Chelsfield, Kent

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War Memorial Names


St Martin’s War Memorial and the 100th Anniversary of the First World War

On Remembrance Sunday 2015 I listened to the names being read out reverently by Brian Kemp, always a moving moment as there are so many names for such a small parish. Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War started 18 months ago, but it hadn’t occurred to me before to specifically think about the people that lived in our parish who died.

I was inspired to start a research project on them, to find out where they lived and when they died, in order to write a short article each month on those who died 100 years before, so that we could remember and honour them individually. Although we’re already one and a half years in, the research I’ve done shows most of our casualties died from 1916 onwards. The few that I have missed I will write about in months where there isn’t someone to remember 100 years before.

Someone may have already researched this in the past but, as some of you know, I’m very interested in genealogy and social history, so I’ve done it again for my own interest. However I have drawn a few blanks, so I’d be grateful for any help readers can give. Are you related to anyone on the memorial, or do you know anyone who might be? The stories behind the names of individual soldiers are being revealed during the month of the 100th anniversary of their death. if you do have any information I would love to hear from you.

Philippa Rooke Jan 2016

Note: Included with the following entries are a few names of soldiers buried in St.Martin’s Churchyard who’s names don’t appear on our war memorial. The entries are generally in the order they were published in the church magazine. They will ultimately be placed in alphabetical order.

Amendments and additional text:

I’m nearing the end of this project, and I hope to publish it as a pamphlet to have in the church, and perhaps to sell for church funds, but some of this research was done late at night in time for a magazine deadline so I need to do a lot of cross-checking and referencing first.  We are also coming up to perhaps the last significant anniversary of the First World War, the Armistice on Sunday 11th November 2018; I do hope many of you will come to the 10.45am morning Remembrance Day Service to commemorate all these men now that we know a little more about them.

On Saturday 10th at 7pm I will be giving a talk in the Brass Crosby Room about the research behind the Chelsfield Casualties of World War 1 - all are welcome to come.

If you have any more information about any of the servicemen I’ve written about, or the ones I’m still searching for, please do let me know.  The ‘missing’ are William Golding, Sidney Davis, Noah Hillman, William Finn and Walter Matthewson.


Philippa Rooke   Oct 2018


Tel: 07826 516481

Or find me in the church tower ringing bells or in the choir at Evensong.