Robert Evelyn Orlebar
On 9 January, Robert was shot and killed by a German sniper whilst in the trenches at Neuve Chapelle, he was just 20 years old.
Robert was the son of Colonel and Mrs Orlebar of Rutt House. Robert passed through Sandhurst and at the outbreak of war was serving with the 2nd battalion of the Middlesex Regiment in Malta. After returning to England he was attached to the 23rd Infantry Brigade and in November 1914 moved to France. Lieutenant Robert Evelyn Orlebar is buried in Rue-du-Bacquerot No.1 Cemetery, Levantie, France. His name appears on the Ivybridge War Memorial and one at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. A private family memorial is located in St John’s Church.
James Churchward, Claud Clark, Norman Couch, Arthur James Pearce, Ernest Frederick Priddle, Albert Wills, John Austin, James Robert Phillips.
Martin Damerell, aged 16, enlists to the Devonshire Regiment at Kingsbridge.
Leading Stoker Charles Deville serving on H.M.S. Exmouth, is reported to have accidentally drowned in Sheerness harbour while returning to his ship from leave on 16 Feb. He is buried at Woodlands Cemetery in Gillingham.
Sydney Cock, Alfred Curzon, Arthur Crispin, Reginald Clarke, Sydney Downing, George Fedrick, Richard Gilley, Reginald Kingsland, Arthur Thomas V Manley, Clement Ryder, Leslie Wills.
Arthur Trowbridge Horton, 2nd Devons, was mortally wounded on 11 Mar at the battle of Neuve Chapelle, part of the Allied offensive in the Artois region of France. He died the next day in Boulogne Hospital. He is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.
Men enlisted between March and May:
Charles Couch, Cephas Henry Hurrell, Richard Samuel Phillips, Reginald Frank Roper, Reginald Tancock, Wilfred Freeman, Charles Horton, William Vine, Cecil George Anstiss, Harold Stockman, George Marshall, Ernest Littlejohn, James Frederick Ryder, William Hallams, George William Climpson, Francis Billington, Samuel Churchward.
Private William Northcott serving with the 2nd Devons died on 25 May. He was buried in Rue-Petillon, Fleurbaix in northern France.
Sergeant Hall, a former resident of Ivybridge, R.M.L.I. died when H.M.S. Goliath sank.
Henry Fowler Hall, John Sherrill, John Damerell, Albert West, James Bond, Sydney George Exworthy, Frank Downing, Rupert Downing, John Fedrick.
Walter Williams, Ist Leinster Regiment, has been wounded but recovering.
Alfred Downing, Thomas Jeffrey, Frederick Jeffrey, Frank Stoneman, Wilfred Hoare, George Fedrick, William Vine, Harold Stockman, Charles Brickell.
Robert Prout, Thomas Williams, Harold Jeffrey, Sydney Folley
The parish magazine made special note of the Downing family “ Mrs Braunton (formerly Mrs. Downing), of Cadleigh Park, has six sons and two sons-in-law serving, and her seventh son has been invalided out.
William Gilbey, Ernest Thomas Barrett, James Prout, Albert Prout, Alfred Barter, John Henry Barter, Robert Reeby, Samuel Williams, Jonathan Williams, Joseph Kavern, Harry Holmes, Tom Newcombe, Trevor Withycombe, Samuel Robert Roberts, William Beable, Alfred Turner, Frederick Hoare, Charles Bowden.
Men enlisted (many already serving for several months due to slow notification to parish magazine):
Percy Moon, Charles Penwill, Thomas Williams, Everett Nichols, John Henry Nichols, John Nichols, Richard Willis, Frederick Hill, Frederick Wilks, Frank Fidler, George Phillips, Percy Roper, Arthur Craton, Thomas Osborne, Richard Lethbridge, William Climpson, Thomas Smith, Richard Kitson, John Chudley.
An article from the parish magazine April 1917
All of us, who are exempt from the actual fighting line, have been very keen on our able-bodied men up to 40 doing their bit. Now the call has come to us to “do our bit”, and to prove our sincerity it is up to us to make good, and we can at once do so by registering for National Service. Registering does not necessarily mean that a man will be taken, it simply expresses his willingness to do work in the National Service. Maybe he is already doing that bit in his present job; none the less, he should register.
James Henry Nichols died when his ship sunk 31 May – HMS Indefatigable at the Battle of Jutland. No known grave.
Cecil Victor Screech died when his ship sunk 31 May – HMS Defence at the Battle of Jutland. No known grave.
Arthur James Pearce died 5 June. He was aboard H.M.S. Hampshire when it hit a mine off the Orkneys. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (panel 20).
L.Cpl. Robert John Anstiss of Highland Street and Private John Damerell (both of the Devon Regt.), are killed in action on the same day, 6 Sept, at the Somme. It took over a year for the family to be informed. They are buried in Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, France
Harry Phillips, James Prout, Eric Russell and Claude Clark have all been wounded on the Somme.
Charles Walke, C.E.R.A. was on board H.M.S. Nottingham when she was torpedoed but is home none the worse for his experience.
Alfred Downing of the Wessex Field Hospital is convalescing, after suffering from shell shock. Three of his brothers are in Mesopotamia.
James Prout is very ill at Northampton Hospital.
William Frederick Pearce is wounded after being buried by a shell and is at Liverpool Hospital.
Mr H. Blight the church organist is called up for service.
Albert Henry Prout died on 21 Dec aboard one of His Majesty’s mine-sweepers. No known grave.
Frederick Beable – killed in action on 29 Dec. He is buried in Beaumont-Hamel British Cemetery in France.
Sidney Prout, brother to Albert, serving on H.M.S. Sutlej is in hospital at Gibraltar; James Prout (another brother) of the Royal Fusiliers is in hospital at Northampton, having lost a leg as the result of a wound received on 15 July on the Somme.
Rupert Downing killed in Mesopotamia (Iraq) 3 Feb. He was but 18. Rupert is buried in Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.
Frank Downing, twin-brother to Rupert, and one elder brother, Sidney, are also in Mesopotamia. News received that Sidney had been wounded but the severity was unknown.
Arthur Thomas Varcoe Manley was killed in action after a raid into the German trenches 17 Feb but this was not confirmed until Jan 1918. A letter from his Captain reported at the time of the raid:
“The sapper who was paired with your boy came back safely and says he last saw him a short distance along the German trench at a time the Germans were closing in from either direction, using bombs to clear our infantry out. Shortly after that the order to retire was given and the party came back, unaware of their casualties and necessarily leaving those casualties behind. Your boy would of course have come back too had he been other than seriously wounded or killed, and beyond that we do not know. There is undoubtedly a chance that the Germans took him wounded as a prisoner.”
Arthur Manley was born in Ivybridge in 1894 and was the only child of Tom, the local tailor and his dressmaker wife Mary. The family ran their business from Fore Street, originally number 34 and later number 42.
Arthur Manley was awarded the Victory Medal (08.02.1921) and the British War Medal which was received by his father 05.09.1921. It was 14.09.1920 before the 1914-1915 Star was received. These medals are now in the possession of the Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group.
Arthur Manley has no known grave but he is commemorated on Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing at Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium (panel 1).
William Edward Beable died 10 May. Enlisted in the Royal Marines he was killed fighting with the Royal Naval Division in France. William is buried in Quatre-Vents Military Cemetery, Estree-Cauchy, Pas de Calais, France.
William Mann died of wounds 10 May fighting in northern France. He is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux memorial on the Somme battlefield.
Albert Mattacott, London Regiment, has been wounded in the left arm, and is now in hospital at Stockport.
Robert Henry Hannaford died of wounds 2 June.
John Thomas Horton killed in action 7 June. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Leper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
Thomas Walke is in hospital in London, wounded. Bertram Walke has been in hospital in France, sick, and is now in a convalescent home. Sydney Prout is at home invalided; and his brother James is also expected home in like case. Harry Fortune has been at home on sick leave.
George Close, Secretary of the War Savings Association and a teacher at the school at Station Road joined the Colours.
Petty Officer Stoker Richard John Blight lost his life aboard H.M.S. Vanguard based at Scapa Flow naval base in the Orkney Islands.
Just before midnight on 9 July, H.M.S. Vanguard suffered a series of magazine explosions and sank almost instantly with 843 of the 845 men aboard perishing. Richard Blight’s body was recovered from the sea and he is buried in the Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery, Orkney.
John (Jack) Bryant, C.E.R.A., son of the late H.P.Bryant, baker, has won the Distinguished Service Medal (D.S.M.).
John H. Lang is at home, recovering from wounds.
A list published in the parish magazine records all those currently on service :-
William Beable; Harry Bird; Herbert Blight; Cecil Boulden; Lionel Boulden; Bray; John Brooks; Wm. Brooks; Charles Broom; Philip Broom; Frederick Brown; Frederick Browning; Ernest Castle; Reginald Chadder; Tom Chubb; George Close; Cockings; Alfred Hayes Cook; William Cox (invalided); Owen Coyte; Jn Crocker; Wm. H.W. Daniels; Samuel Daniels; Fred De Ville; Harry De Ville; Joseph De Ville; Richard Earl; Archie Folley; Harold Folley; Harry Fortune; George Freeman; Arthur French; Fred Hart Jn; Higman; James Hill; Robert Hoare; James E. Hocking; Claude Jeffery; Gordon Kingsland; John Land (wounded); Charles Legg; Russell Maher; Thomas Maddock; Sidney E. Maddock; Albert Mattacott; Wm. Mitchell; Wm. Mugridge; W.A. Newman; Fred Northmore Jn; Reginald Northmore; Pawley Jn; Wm. Fred Pearce; Harold Pepperell; Charles Pidgeon; Sydney Piper; Sydney Prout (invalided); Frederick Prout; Edward J. Prout; Ross Purdie; Percy Rayner; Frederick Robinson; Frederick Roper; Percy Roper; Edwin H.Ryder; Lewis Skidmore; George Stone; Owen Turner (invalided); Stanley Varcoe; George Vivian; Bertram Walke; Thomas Walke; Tom Willis; Winsor; William Wright;
Albert Edward Cole, C.E.R.A., the second and only surviving son of Mrs Cole and the late John Cole, R.M.L.I. died in hospital as the result of shock and immersion when his ship H.M.S. Recruit was torpedoed and sunk in the North Sea, 9 Aug. His body was laid to rest in Ivybridge Cemetery on 16 Aug R.I.P.
Men joined up:- George Bray; Reginald Clark; Victor Clark; Arthur John Cockings; John C. Pascoe Cocks; Harold R. Daniels; William Fry; Thomas Higman; Charles Hoare; James E. Hockin; Cecil Holman; Wilfred Holmes; Charles Edwin Jellyman; Richard H. Knapman; John Luscombe; Albert Moorse; John Rogers; Ernest Stockman; H.F.Symes; Alfred H.Taylor; Hedley Vincent; Herbert Vincent; Richard Wilcocks; Edgar Winsor;
Harold Folley was seriously wounded on 7 Sept and died the next day at a “clearing station” somewhere in France. He is buried in Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, Pas de Calais, France.
Harry Fortune returns home to convalesce, after being badly gassed during action.
A further list of men on service is published in the parish magazine:
Wilfred T.Cook, Edward Head, William John Watts, Richard Ford, Alfred H.Warley, Thomas S.Reeves, Stephen Friend, Frank Watts, Frank Reeves.
Thomas Williams, 24, Keaton Road, who was home for a few days in August, is again at Finsbury Square Hospital, still suffering from the effects of having been buried owing to shell explosion.
Harry Phillips of 16 Belmont Road, is reported to be at Warrington Hospital suffering from shell-shock.
Additional names of those serving or about to serve:-
Frederick Bird, Alfred John Edwards, Harold Crocker, Samuel J.Fone, John Rundle Hart, Benjamin Jago, Frederick C. Hingston, Frank Moon, and John A.F. Smerdon.
Men wounded :-
Bertram Walke, in hospital at Birkenhead; Benjamin Jago, “somewhere in France”, seriously scalded and burnt by an explosion; Harold Pearse, in hospital in Scotland; Edgar Winsor, seriously wounded in right eye, shoulder, and arm, in hospital in Birmingham; Frederick F.Northmore, dangerously wounded in the left arm, but now out of danger.
Reginald Sudlow Hawker, Capt., R.G.C.,
Capt. Hawker was dangerously wounded in Palestine on 6 Nov and died as the result of his wounds on 9 Nov. He was called up with the S.D. Yeomanry in the first days of the war, and served with them at Gallipoli; after the evacuation he went with them to Egypt, and later, as machine gun officer took part in the advance to Gaza, and in the late fighting there.
The parish magazine paid tribute to him:
His work as an officer has all through been spoken of most highly. His whole life up to the outbreak of war had been spent in Ivybridge, and all Ivybridge folk are at one in paying tribute to the sterling worth of his character. He was absolutely straight. He had a cheerful smile and kind word for every one and was deservedly popular. His religion was natural to him, was just part of his life. He was a most regular and devout communicant at home: and when on service, in spite of difficulties at times, he carried on his practice. His was truly a godly and a virtuous life, and one which we could ill spare from amongst us.
A granite cross at St John’s Church commemorates Capt. Hawker
Benjamin Jago and Arthur Holman are reported in hospital in England, making satisfactory progress. Frederick J. Northmore is at a base hospital in France but dangerously ill after losing his left arm. George Phillips is in hospital suffering from trench fever, and his brother has just returned to the line, after recovery from gas poisoning.
Mr W. Brownfield Craig is made an “Officer of the Order of the British Empire.” Mr Craig has from the earliest days of the war acted as an assistant County Director of Red Cross with eight hospitals under his care.
George Northmore has recently joined up.
Russell Maher has been wounded but not serious.
Men recently joined up – Alfred Churchward, Reginald Lake, Frederick Mugridge, Horace Newcome, and Robert Edgar Yabsley.
Thomas Newcome and Thomas Williams have been invalided. Harold Pearse has had to go back to hospital at Plymouth. Frederick Northmore, who was reported earlier as dangerously wounded, is now at home convalescing after losing an arm.
Major John Bayly
Major Bayly died of illness he contracted in Gallipoli on 26 Feb.
A tribute to the late Major Bayly appeared in the parish magazine:
It is with the very deepest regret that we record the death after an operation of Major Bayly, and our most, sincere sympathy is with Mrs Bayly and her daughter in their great sorrow. The Vicar, speaking of his death on the Sunday morning after, said that “his loss would be felt throughout the county, his interests being so wide and diverse; but it would be especially by the Church in Ivybridge. He was a loyal, staunch fellow-Churchman, one who loved his Lord, and therefore loved His Church. His religion was intensely real to him. He was indeed a ‘good’ man. For the second time within a short period God had taken one of His best servants from their midst. When John Bayly was at home, he never, when well, missed making his Sunday communion. On Septuagesima Sunday he made his last on earth, and it was little thought that in the strength of the heavenly Food then received he would be called into the presence of his God. For many years he acted as Vicar’s Warden, only relinquishing office because his military duties made it very difficult for him to attend to his duties of his office. At his own request he was elected as a Sideman, as he still desired actively to interest himself in Church matters. During the time he held office he was most generous in his support of Church Expenses. Their beautiful screen was a lasting memorial to him and his generosity. They left him in God’s hands, praying that God would give him light and refreshment, peace and rest, and a joyful resurrection at the Last Day.” The body was brought into our church at 11 a.m. for a short service before being taken for burial to Sheepstor, where his father is buried, and in which parish Major Bayly had large interests. A largely attended service was also held at 2 p.m., the hour of the burial at Sheepstor.
Major John Bayly was born in 1869 in Plymouth and had lived at Highlands House in Ivybridge before war broke out. He was a volunteer in the Royal North Devon Hussars. In 1913 he was awarded the Territorial Distinction medal in recognition of his long service in the territorials. During the Great War Major Bayly served with the 16th Battalion, the Devonshire Regiment. He is buried near the north-east corner of Sheepstor church and is remembered on the Ivybridge War Memorial. Funds for the Rood Screen inside St John’s Church were donated by Major Bayly and his family.
Joshua Horton killed in action on 21 Mar.
Richard Trotman killed in action on 21 Mar.
Gunner Joshua Horton served with 374 Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA). Corporal Richard Trotman was a signaller, serving with 58 Division Signalling Company, Royal Engineers. Both of these men died on the same day, 21 March and have no known grave. However, they are both commemorated on the same memorial to the missing in Pozières, France. The Pozières Memorial commemorates the names of 14,655 casualties of the United Kingdom who died on the Somme battlefields between March and August 1918.
Henry Hannaford, Sergt. Warwick Regt., was killed in action on 10 April.
Albert Hannaford killed in action 11 April.
Thomas John Higman, son of the stationmaster in Ivybridge, died of wounds 27 April.
William Henry Hannaford (known as Henry) was in the Territorial Army before the war; Henry’s younger brother Albert also joined the Territorial’s as soon as he could, and the two brothers met up on Salisbury Plain early in 1918.
Unfortunately, the two brothers were destined for the area, unbeknown to them, where the second Spring Offensive in April was to be staged. Henry, serving with the 10th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was on the Messines Ridge when the Germans attacked on the night of the 9th-10th. The attack caused 453 battalion casualties, including Sgt William Henry Hannaford. So rapid was the enemy advance that Albert’s battalion, which was over 20km away at Merville, was attacked. Albert was mortally wounded and had to be left; one of the 487 casualties of the 1/5th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. He had just had his 19th birthday. He died just a day after his brother on 11 April.
Neither brothers have known graves. Henry is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing at Zonnebeke, Ypres Salient Battlefields in Belgium and Albert on the Loos Memorial to the Missing at Loos-en-Gohelle in France. Both men’s names appear of the Ivybridge War Memorial.
Private Thomas Higman served with the 13th Gloucester Regiment and died aged 41, reminding everyone that the war did not exclusively claim the lives of the young volunteers. Thomas is buried in the Harlebeke New British Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen in Belgium.
Cecil Andrews, Bertie Roper, and Donald Trotman recently joined up.
William Reid and George Vivian are reported missing.
Charles Broom, George Close and Harry De Ville wounded in action. Ernest Hockin has been gassed. All in hospital in England. Samuel Daniels has been taken back to hospital from his home, seriously ill.
George Close served with one of the Bicycle Battalions, fighting near Peronne on the Somme, at the time he was wounded. His battalion was told to withdraw but they were so tired they lay down to sleep. When George awoke he realised they were being fired on by a German aircraft. His two colleagues were killed and George was wounded in the neck and shoulder. When the stretcher party arrived they patched him up and then George walked all day for 5 miles through a maze of trenches, using the sun to guide him. He survived to become Headmaster of Modbury School, later retiring to Loddiswell, celebrated his Golden Wedding to Stella and died in his 90s.
George Close (on right) with a class of school children and George with wife Stella in August 1935.
Bertram Walke, serving with 1st Devons, died in hospital in France as the result of a bullet wound in the head on 11 Jun aged 21. Bertram had been wounded before and had only recently returned to the Front Line. His grave is in the Aire Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais.
Cards received from William Reid and George Vivian who were ‘missing’, stating that they are prisoners of war. The youngest son of Dr. Trelawny-Ross, who was reported as ‘missing’, is also a prisoner of war. Harry Phillips is at home, invalided.
Cephas Hurrell died in India from malaria on 29 Jul. He is buried at Trimulgherry Cantonment Cemetery in India and commemorated on the Madras 1914-1918 War Memorial at Chennai, India.
Men recently joined up: – William Hands, George Williams, William Pippin, John Jones, Alfred Mattacott, William Varcoe, and the Rev. A.G. Curnow, who volunteered for services as a Chaplain to the Forces and has as appointment as Wesleyan Chaplain at Salonika.
Ernest Hockin (gassed) and John Brooks are in hospital.
Men recently joined up: – Frederick Beer, William Arthur Boulden, and Joseph Fedrick.
Harry Fortune, who was reported “missing” has written to say that he is a prisoner of war.
Private Ernest Stockman, Devon Regt., awarded the D.C.M. for gallantry and devotion to duty in France from May 27th to June 2nd. Only in April he had received a parchment certificate “for gallant conduct and devotion to duty.”
Private W.B. Hoare, A.R.M.C., presented with a Certificate for his “gallant conduct and devotion to duty in the field on 27 Aug near Trones Wood.”
Fred Clarke, Regt., R.M.L.I., killed in action in France on 3 Sept. He is buried at the Vis-en-Artois Memorial Cemetery, Haucourt, France; William P. Thompson lost his life in a submarine.
Ernest Lang, Stoker P.O., lost his life at sea; William Roskilly, Private, the Devon Regiment, was killed in France on 27 Sept. William Roskilly is buried at Fifteen Ravine Cemetery, Villers-Plouch in France.
Eric Russell, Sergt., Waikat’s Co., Auckland Batt., killed in action in France on 30 Sept.
Alfred Hart, reported missing previously, is a prisoner in Germany; he is wounded with a broken arm. George Willis has been invalided. E. Williams has been very ill in Ireland. Sydney Piper is in Hospital in France, owing to a serious accident. Bertram Maher and Trevor Withycombe have been wounded.
Frederick Gosling, Sergt, Welsh Regiment (14th Batallion). Died of wounds 9 Oct. He is buried in Beaulencourt British Cemetery, Ligny-Thilloy, Pas de Calais, France.
Norman Couch, Private, Devons, died of pneumonia in hospital at Basra on 16 Oct. He is buried in Basra War Cemetery, Iraq.
William Barter, Private, Army Service Corps, died of pneumonia in hospital at Salonika 20 Oct. He is buried in Kirechkoi-Hortakoi Military Cemetery in Greece.
Corporal Ernest John Littlejohn, D.C.L.I., 20th Div., awarded military medal for “gallant conduct in leading an attack on an enemy machine gun post and killing the teams. He later helped to beat off an enemy counter attack”, Sept. 26th & 27th.
Private Arthur Blight,1/5 Devons, awarded military medal “for distinguished gallantry on the field at the Battle of the Marne,” July 20th – 30th.
Private Edwin Blight (brother of above), R.A.M.C., awarded military medal “for distinguished gallantry and devotion to duty in bringing in wounded soldiers under a continuous and very severe shell fire.”
Cecil Holman, Samuel Fowler, Victor Clark, and Arthur French have been wounded; Fred Bird has been “gassed”, and is in hospital; and C. Horton is in hospital suffering from malaria; John A.F. Smerdon, who was “gassed”, is now well again.
Philip Bovey recently joined up.
Alfred Hart returns home, not unkindly treated while a prisoner, wounded and suffering the loss of his left arm. Francis Charles Bowden, N.T., A.S.C., wounded in the foot in August is back in England in hospital.
Servicemen who lost their lives in 1919:
Frederick John Hart died 5 Feb 1919 and buried in Ivybridge Cemetery.
Jack B Millman died 19 May 1919 and buried in Alexandra (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.
George Hattrick died 2 Dec 1919 and buried in Ivybridge Cemetery.
Edwin Joseph Penwill died 16 Dec 1919 and buried in Ivybridge Cemetery.