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Gillingham Soldiers of WW1 - PART 3 (those not named on the War Memorial)

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

The soldiers named below all had associations with Gillingham but were not included on the main War Memorial situated in Gillingham main car-park.

They will all be researched in time and those completed are featured after the list.

BURT Thomas M - (GGS)

COLE William T - (GGS)


COX Felix J - (GGS)

CROFTON Harold M M - (GGS)

HALL Alfred J - (GGS)



HIBBERD Wilfred A - (GGS)

HULL John - (ROH)

KEAST Rose - (GGS)

KING Charles F - (GGS)


KITSON George Bredin - (memorial in Langham Church)

KLITZ Evelyn A - (GGS)

LEES Thomas - (ROH)

LOCKETT Robert - (ROH)


NORRIS Frank H - (GGS)

ORCHARD Albert F - (GGS)

PARR George - (ROH)

PERRY Arthur Edwin - (GGS)


SOTHEBY Lionel - (ROH)


WELCH John E H - (GGS)


CWGC = Commonwealth War Graves Commission - grave in Gillingham Cemetery

GGS - Gillingham Grammar School memorial board

ROH - Roll of Honour in St Mary's Church



T29309 Driver Arthur Dowland of the Royal Army Service Corps died 4 April 1915.

Arthur, the son of Austin and Maria was born in 1884 and baptised on 11 June 1884 at Bourton Church. In 1891 the family were living at Coombe Hill Cottage, Bruton, Somerset. In 1901 Arthur was at Froghole Farm, Cann working as a farm labourer and his family were at , Culvers Corner, Gillingham. His siblings were George, Elizabeth, Sylvester, Henry and Thomas. There is no trace of Arthur on the 1911 Census and it is possible that he emigrated to St.John's, Newfoundland in 1909 returning to England in 1914 to enlist at Dorchester. Unfortunately his army records are not available to substantiate this.

It is assumed he became ill on 'home duties' as he died at his parents home at Culvers on 4 April 1915 and was buried on 9 April. He was 32.

His grave is in Gillingham Cemetery marked by a CWGC gravestone.


Entry posted 30 June 2020, updated 18 June 2022


INKPEN William Charles

39060 Farrier Sergeant William Charles Inkpen 23rd Northumbrian Bty., Royal Field Artillery, died at Plank House Hospital, Gillingham, Dorset on 13 July 1915.

William was born in Sturminster Newton in 1864, son of William and Elizabeth Inkpen. His siblings were Charles S, Ivy Grace and Cecil A.

The Census returns of 1891, 1901 and 1911 show William living in London as a farrier with his wife, Helena Sarah (Wood). In 1911, one of their four children was at home ie. Cecil Arthur 14.

The cause of William’s death was revealed by the Western Chronicle of 23 July 1915 reporting on the soldier’s Inquest. In this report William is described as a fine, powerfully built man. He had served in the Army in his younger days and was a farrier in civil life. At the outbreak of war, he re-joined the Army and became a farrier-sergeant in the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was shortly due to leave England to serve for the Front and decided to visit his brother at Corsham.

It was during this visit that the two brothers decided to cycle to Sturminster Newton to meet up with old school pals. Unfortunately, on reaching Bourton for the Gillingham road, William fell from his bicycle. Dr Bartlett found him in a state of collapse and an ambulance was called to take him to Plank House hospital. Despite the good care he received at the hospital he died on 13 July. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence – that death was due to syncope and pneumonia accelerated by injury (broken collar bone, broken ribs and abrasions) caused by accidentally falling from his bicycle.

The funeral took place with semi-military honours. The coffin of polished elm with brass fittings was covered by the Union Jack. The chief mourners were Mrs Inkpen, widow, William's three brothers and about 20 soldiers from the local Red Cross hospitals.

He was buried in Gillingham Cemetery and his grave is marked with a Commonwealth War Graves memorial as shown above. Grave Ref.596

No other memorials are currently known.


Entry posted 15 March 2021


RICE Frank

Rifleman 371082 Frank Rice of 1st/8th Battalion London Regiment (Post Office Rifles) was killed in action on 21 May 1916 in France. Frank was baptised in Gillingham on 31 January 1896. HIs mother was Louisa Jane Rice, a single woman and daughter of John and Eliza Rice who lived at Langham, Gillingham, Dorset.

After leaving school Frank became a Telegraph Messenger Boy with the Post Office. It is known that he was living and working in Bournemouth as a postal worker and it is there that he enlisted.

The Bournemouth Graphic of 30 April 1915 published a photo of ‘Bournemouth Postal Patriots’. The names given are W. Clewett, Frank Rice, Sid Smith, C.W. Gallop, Bert Hill, R.C. Carter. The caption was incorrectly annotated but it is believed that Frank is second from left in the back row.

Frank was killed in an enemy attack at Vimy Ridge, Pas de Calais, France. Gallop was also killed there on the same day. R.C. Carter also died in France.

Frank’s mother was living in Wyke Street, Gillingham at the time.

Frank is remembered at the Arras Memorial in Bay 10 and on the Bournemouth Post Office Memorial situated at the Bournemouth Delivery Office, 16 Wellington Road, Bournemouth BH1 1AA

Frank does not appear on the Gillingham Memorial nor is noted in the ‘’Record of Service of the men of Gillingham, Dorset, in the Great War 1914-18. The list was compiled by local members of The Comrades of the Great War and as Frank was living in Bournemouth he may not have been known.


Entry posted 21 October 2023


TAYLOR William John

Gunner 47340 William John Taylor Royal Field Artillery “B” Battery 116th Brigade died on 16th January 1915 aged 31.

William was born on 17 August 1883 in St.Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, son of John Lebanon TAYLOR and Margaret TAYLOR (nee Noel). He was baptised at St.Helier on 16 September 1883. His father was in the Armed forces.

The 1901 Census shows John & Margaret Taylor and William living at 12 Mineral Street, Plumstead, Kent. William is described as a Commercial Clerk. The 1911 Census show his parents living in a seven-roomed property at 101 Tuam Road, Plumstead. At the time of William's death, Margaret Taylor, now widowed, was living at 251 Whitehorse Lane, South Norwood, London.

On 15 November 1901, William enlisted with the 17th Lancers at Woolwich at the age of 18 years 3 months. He had blue eyes, brown hair; height was 5ft 8 1/2 ins., weight 119 lbs, chest 34/36. He was dishonorably discharged on 13 July 1903. Records of William’s enlistment during WW1 have not yet been traced.

Gunner Taylor died on 16 January 1915 as a result of pneumonia and he was being cared for in one of the Red Cross Hospitals in Gillingham, Dorset.

The following report appeared in the Western Gazette of 22 January: MILITARY FUNERAL

The first fatality among the R.F.A. who are billeted in the town, occurred on Saturday last when Bombardier W Taylor, of the 359th Battery, succumbed to an attack of double pneumonia in the V.A.D. Hospital, Station Road, at the age of 23.A military funeral was given the deceased on Tuesday afternoon, which was attended by men from each Battery, to the number of nearly 200.Each Battery sent a wreath, which had been subscribed for by the men as a token of comradeship. The very impressive service was conducted by the Vicar, the Rev. W E H Heygate.

The deceased was among a draft from Glasgow, which came into the town about a fortnight ago and two days after arriving he was taken to the Hospital. On Friday his mother paid him a visit, and on Saturday he was so much better that his mother departed. Soon afterwards he had a relapse and passed away. His death was registered in Shaftesbury Registration District, Quarter 1, Vol. 5A Page 348.

He was buried in Gillingham Cemetery (Grave 597) and was commemorated there around 1920 with a Commonwealth War Graves Commission gravestone. See photo left.


Posted 1 July 2020


Gillingham Museum, Chantry Fields, Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 4UA | Copyright © Gillingham Museum

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