Like communities up and down the country, Sutton and the surrounding area were hugely impacted by the Battle of the Somme. Ten men from Sutton (representing 2% of the names on Sutton memorial) and 20 from Carshalton (8% of the names on Carshalton memorial) were killed on 1st July 1916 alone, or died of wounds received that day. Although there was not a local ‘pals’ battalion, the losses to individual units were still felt locally. For example, 12 of the 38 local men killed on 1st July were serving with the 7th Battalion of The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment). Why so many were serving in that battalion is unclear; it had been formed in Guildford in 1914 as one of Kitchener’s ‘new army’ service battalions. Twelve local men were also killed serving with the Territorial battalions of the London Regiment, in action at Gommecourt at the north of the battle.
Brief details of the local men known to have been killed on 1st July 1916 are provided below:
Sutton war memorial
Lance Corporal Stanley Herbert BRAITHWAITE, 11th Royal Fusiliers, age 21. Son of Harry and Henrietta Braithwaite, of 139 Collingwood Road, Sutton.
Private Harold BRITTON-JONES, 2nd London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). Harold is also commemorated on the memorial in St. Nicholas church, Sutton.
Private Walter CARR, 7th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), age 28
Second Lieutenant Francis Baker COLDWELLS, 2nd Devonshire Regiment, age 24. The Coldwells family lived at Glenalmond, Egmont Road. Francis went to Whitgift School and then Wadham College, Oxford. He enlisted in September 1914 and went overseas in May 1916. Two of his brothers were also killed during the war and their names are also on Sutton memorial. ‘A fine scholar and modest man’.
Second Lieutenant Alfred Clarence DORE, 101st Machine Gun Corps, age 22. Son of Alfred George and Edith Dore, of ‘Thaxted’, Devonshire Avenue, Sutton.
Rifleman Robert William GASKINS, 16th London Regiment (Queen’s Westminster Rifles), age 23. Also commemorated on Wallington and Belmont memorials.
Private Frank Reginald HOGG, 2nd London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), age 23. Son of Mrs. A.E. Hogg, of 33 Myrtle Road, Sutton.
Corporal Sidney PAYNE, 1st East Yorkshire Regiment. Husband of Frances Grover (formerly Payne), of 10, Ladywell Park, Lewisham.
Private Stanley ROSS, 16th Middlesex Regiment, age 21. Son of Richard Ross, of 3 Myrtle Road, Sutton.
Lance Corporal Frederick Thomas King WALTER, 7th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), age 28. Adopted son of Mr. and Mrs A.S. King, of Cavendish Cottage, Brighton Road, Sutton.
The British and German lines at Gommecourt, where many of the local men went into action with the 56th (London) Division
Carshalton war memorial
Private George Victor ALLEN, 1st Border Regiment, age 19. George was an errand boy and lived at 119 Avenue Villas.
Rifleman Reginald ASTILL, 9th London Regiment (Queen Victoria’s Rifles), age 21.
Lance Corporal Harty AYLING, 1st Border Regiment, age 23. Harty lived in Cowper Avenue then at 20 William Street, the Wrythe. A skin mill labourer and leather dresser, he married in 1912 and had three children, the youngest of whom was born just eleven days before he died. Also commemorated on Sutton memorial.
Private Arthur Sidney BAKER, 7th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), age 21. Son of William and Harriet Baker, of 19 St John’s Road, Carshalton.
Private Gilbert Alfred CHURCHER, 7th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), age 26. Lived at 31 Bernard Road, Wallington.
Private Sidney DUFF, 7th The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), age 35. Lived in West Street.
Rifleman Reginald Ernest Kenneth EVANS, 12th London Regiment (The Rangers), age 23. Reginald was born in Carshalton and lived with his family in Rochester Road.
Private Claude Herbert Edwin GILBERT, 10th West Yorkshire Regt (Prince of Wales’s Own), age 26. Claude was born in Carshalton and was a painter.
Private Sidney Horace GODFREY, 1st Border Regiment, age 19. Born in Sutton, Sidney was a milkman who lived at 16 Station Road, Carshalton.
Rifleman Francis Wilton INGRAM, 5th London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade), age 33. By 1914 he was living at Hellvellyn, Rotherfield Road, Carshalton.
Private Frederick Thomas Payne KING, 7th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), age 26. Son of James Henry King, of 5 St John’s Road, the Wrythe, Carshalton.
Private Thomas KIRBY, 7th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), age 34. Lived in St James Road, the Wrythe, Carshalton. Thomas also played football for Carshalton Athletic. [PIC]
Private Frank LONG, 8th East Surrey Regiment, age 35. Frank was born in Carshalton and lived at 25 Harold Road, Sutton. He was killed during his battalion’s attack at Carnoy, during which the men famously kicked footballs towards the German lines.
The 8th East Surreys advance
Private William John NORTH, 7th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), age 29. Son of the late William North and of Mary North of 50 West Street, Carshalton.
Corporal Sydney PAYNE, 1st East Yorkshire Regiment, age 21. Sydney was born in Sutton. In 1901 his family were living at 18 Sutton Grove, Sutton.
Private Francis James SHEARMAN, 7th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), age 20. Francis lived with his family at ‘Tarrys’, Hill Road, Sutton and attended Sutton County School from 1909 to 1911. During his battalion’s attack he was shot above the leg. A shell then exploded near a shell hole in which he was taking cover, killing him. His name is also on the memorial at Sutton Grammar School.
Lance Serjeant Eustace STRACEY, 7th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), age 22. Born in Carshalton and lived in Mill House, Butter Hill.
Rifleman Arthur WAIND, 16th London Regiment (Queen’s Westminster Rifles), age 31. Son of the late Frederick Waind; husband of Edith M. Waind, of The Gables, New Earswick, York. By 1916 he was living at ‘Coniston’, 28 Avenue Road, Carshalton.
Second Lieutenant Archibald WARNER, 5th London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade), age 32. Son of John Warner, of Waddon House, Croydon.
Wallington war memorial
Private Charles Frederick APPLEBY, 2nd Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), age 23. Son of Frederick and Clara Appleby, of 4 Farm Cottages, Beddington Lane, Beddington.
Private Ernest BARTHOLOMEW, 7th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
Lieutenant George Edmund CLODE BAKER, 5th London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade), age 22. Son of George and Winifred Clode-Baker, of Holmfields, Reigate.
Rifleman Thomas HOOKE, 5th London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade), age 20. Son of Thomas and Marion Hooke, of ‘Moy Mir’, 18 Carew Road, Wallington.
Second Lieutenant Percy Patrick KELLY, 8th East Surrey Regiment, age 27. Brother of Mr. H.M. Kelly, of London.
Rifleman Leonard LE ROSSIGNOL, 16th London Regiment (Queen’s Westminster Rifles), age 29. Son of Pauline E. Le Rossignol, of ‘Pendower’, Oxhey Drive, Northwood, Middlesex.
Private Walter Frederick MOODEY, 16th Middlesex Regiment, age 19. Son of Alice Harriet Moody, of Goat Road, Mitcham Junction.
Private William George SAW (died of wounds 3rd July), 7th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), age 22. Son of Albert and Maria Saw, of 3 Richmond Road, Beddington.
The famous footage of the Hawthorn mine exploding at 7.20am on 1st July 1916 was filmed by one of the British Army’s official cinematographers, Geoffrey Malins, who was a Carshalton Beeches resident.
The mine exploding at Hawthorn Ridge at 7.28am © IWM (Q 754)
Cheam war memorial
Rifleman Leonard William HODGSON, 2nd London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)
Sergeant Jonah TRIMMER, 2nd Royal Berkshire Regiment. He had previously been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) “For conspicuous gallantry and cool judgement in handling his machine gun. On one occasion, after a withdrawal from the enemy trenches, he succeeded in getting his gun out of action under circumstances of great difficulty.”
Whilst the country reeled from the sheer number of casualties incurred on 1st July 1916, it must be remembered that the campaign would continue for a further 140 days, until the deteriorating weather brought the campaign to a halt on 18th November. In total at least 175 men from Sutton, Carshalton, Wallington, Cheam, and Belmont lost their lives in the campaign. Carshalton war memorial has the names of 59 men who died in the campaign inscribed on its panels; those 141 days out of the war’s 1,560 accounting for nearly a quarter of the names on the memorial. It is likely that many more men from the area were wounded as well, many with permanent and visible reminders of the war.
Of the 175 local men who lost their lives during the campaign, the bodies of 91 were never found and they are commemorated among the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.
Thiepval Memorial to the Missing
You can find out more about the men commemorated on Carshalton war memorial in my book: Their Name Liveth for Evermore: Carshaltons First World War Roll of Honour
Mapping Carshalton’s casualties: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?hl=en_US&mid=1sdKQZcrAw6dbJgdLIeD4kMSqliA