WORK IN PROGRESS
This page has been set up as a record of and tribute to the many men who served in the First World War and through good fortune returned home to their families, though often changed physically and mentally.
Of course, without a definitive record such as the War Memorial, tracking down those who survived is no easy task, and so this page and its companion They Also Served (World War 2) are very much a work in progress. Facts were jotted down in various ways and at various times as they came to light (often while researching another family member); there is, therefore, often inconsistency of treatment, which will be addressed in time. Also, sources have not yet been listed, but again this will be remedied in due course,
It is hoped that more information can be added to this page as it is discovered. If you have such information to add or correct, or photographs of these or other people who served in the First World War, please contact us.
Below are the names of those that for various reasons we believe to have served in World War 1. Links are usually to their “Family” pages. The small portraits of some of the men, taken many years after the War, are from group photographs in 1934 (Denbies Harvest Home) and the Denbies Home Guard in the 1940s (all copyright Ranmore Archive).
Those who died in service, although their names are not on the Ranmore War Memorial, are marked with a poppy.
Albert George ANSELL, son of George Ansell, Denbies Estate foreman, and Elizabeth Martha Ansell nee Simmonds. Included on this page because he served towards the end of World War 1. He then continued in the services between the Wars, and died in WW2 when his ship HMS “Avenger” was torpedoed off Gibraltar with great loss of life. Royal Naval Air Service, Service No. F46979, then Warrant Aircraft Officer, Royal Navy (Fleet Air Arm), Service No. 246979, Remembered at the Ranmore Remembrance Service. For more details, see his page.
Arthur ANSELL, electrician, youngest brother of Albert Ansell of the War Memorial. Lance-corporal, first enlisted 1901 in the Territorials, 5th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), Service No. 964, signed on again in 1913 for another year, and when WW1 broke out, served for the duration, first at Poona in India and later in Mesopotamia. More to come from service records.
George ATTWATER, bricklayer, husband of Annie Bradley (the daughter of Benjamin Bradley, Estate bailiff). 2nd Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) 1890 onward, Royal Engineers 1915, More to come from service records
Ernest Richard BAKER, driver, elder brother of Edward George Baker, the WW2 casualty. Army Service Corps and 4th Army Signals. Two pages (4 and 5) from Ernest Baker’s letter below (written in 1981, and now in the Ranmore Archive) show his strenuous attempts to enlist. The beginning of the sentence at the top of page 4 reads: “The 1914-1918 came along and there a big…..”. Eventually in August 1915 Ernest made it into the Army Service Corps. He was 5 foot 9.5 inches tall (taller than most men for the time), and weighed 137 lbs. A chauffeur on the Denbies Estate, he served as a driver in France in the forces and was awarded the 1915 Star, the British War and the Victory Medals. He was discharged in February 1919,
Albert BRADLEY, motor lorry driver, brother of Ernest Bradley of the War Memorial. Army Service Corps (Mechanical Transport) from 1915. Service number 034172, 14 Weedington Road, Kentish Town, London, 5 ft 3in, 126 pounds, fresh complexion, eyes and hair brown, a ?tear on the bridge of his nose, Medical category B II, also flat feet (not bad enough for him to be rejected!) Served Mediterrean and Salonica. More details to come from service papers.
Henry Richard BRADLEY, son of Benjamin and Mary Elizabeth Bradley. 1/5 Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment). Service No. T/2538 (or T/240730). 14-15 Star, British War and Victory Medals. In post war Electoral registers, so survived the War.
Herbert Benjamin BRADLEY, son of Benjamin and Mary Elizabeth Bradley, Royal Army Service Corps, 1915 Star, British War and Victory medals after WW1. (NB This is probably the right person with unusual combination of names, but no service records or other evidence so far.)
James (“Jim”) BUCKLAND, younger brother of Frederick Buckland of the War Memorial. Served in The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), according to his daughter Muriel Rice. Wearing medal ribbons in photo of Denbies Home Guard.
Harry Robert CATON, dental practitioner mechanic, eldest brother of Percy Caton of the War Memorial. Royal Naval Air Service (No. 228079), trade classification meteorologist, later Royal Air Force, clerk (but also Air Craftsman, later Air Mechanic). 5 ft 6 1/2 in, hair brown, eyes grey, complexion fresh. Served Hendon, isle of Grain, Crystal Palace. Appears to have served in ships “President II”, also “Daedalus” to the Spanish islands. Discharged 30.4.1920. More to come from service papers.
Albert George CHARMAN. Denbies Estate blacksmith, b. c 1873, married. Enlisted 1901 2nd Volunteer Battalion The Queen’s for 8 years, Surrey Imperial Yeomanry in 1908. Staff Serjeant Farrier during WW1, served England and Salonica (where hospitalised for malaria), No 156249 2nd Reserve Battery, RFA, British War and Victory Medals. More to come from service papers.
George GALE (oldest brother of Edward Gale of the War Memorial). Regiment unknown, but “Soldier” given as his occupation on his marriage certificate in May 1914. Lots of George Gales in Medal Rolls, but no conclusive regiment or other details
Edward John HEDGER, brother-in-law of George Herbert Royal (see below), labourer, b c 1876, married Emily Jane Moon, one child when enlisted, lived 3 Chalk Pit Cottages, Dorking, Private 6338, 3/5th Royal West Surrey Regiment, then No. 37103 1st Queen’s (RWS), then No.601937 Labour Corps, 725 Co. Served France, specialist military qualification 2nd class shot, Victory Medal. Living 11 Chalkpit Cottage on death in 1963. Buried St Barnabas in same grave as wife who died 1962 (grave I 20).
Walter Hitchcock, gamekeeper in 1911, Denbies Estate bailiff in later working years. Service No. G 2323 , The Queen’s, previous unit 8th RWS. Disembarked 31.8.195, A/WO. Cl II. Quarter Master Sergeant of The Queens when he married Rachel Eliza Jobson on 20th June 1917 at Leatherhead Church, father John Hitchcock (deceased), labourer. Demobbed to Class Z, 14.3.1919. 1914-15 Star, British and Victory Medals. After the war he and his wife lived at one of the two Fort Cottages for at least a quarter of a century, still being registered there in the 1945 Electoral Roll. He is reputed to have been very military-minded, so maybe it suited him to live in a one-time military establishment. Later he lived at Keepers Cottages, and then Old Dene Cottages. Serjeant in Denbies Home Guard. Died 1983, buried St Barnabas (grave Q 8), wife buried in same grave 1987.
Ernest Alfred KEYES, husband of Kate Ansell, brother-in-law of Albert Ansell of the War Memorial. In Royal Navy training ship HMS “Ganges” as a boy, rejoined Royal Navy for WW1, serving on HMS “Victory” when died from disease 1915.
Isaac LUFF, gardener at Denbies, b. 1881, son of Henry and Jane Luff of Bagden Farm. Living Rose Cottage, Ranmore Common in 1911. Residence Lime Tree Cottage, Ranmore Common on enlistment in 1915, married to Amelia Dennis, five children. Private, Cambridgeshire Regiment; then ? Suffolk Regiment; then Northamptonshire Regiment, Service No. 225317; finally Essex Regiment, Service No. 42459. Home service until 20.3.1918, then in France. British War and Victory Medals. Died 1955, buried St Barnabas (grave L15, wife buried in same grave. See also Denbies Home Guard.
F. MERRITT, wearing medal ribbons in 1940s picture of Denbies Home Guard.
Francis Herbert MILSTEAD, sorting clerk GPO, husband of EMILY SARAH CATON, sister of Percy Caton of the War Memorial. Army Ordnance Corps,115th (Siege) Company, Private 030575, 8.12.1915. Mobilised 4.5.1917, Salonica 14.1.1918 until 23.4.1919, during which time transferred to Royal Army Service Corps, Private S/440606. Homeward bound 6.5.1919, transferred to Reserve, “L” Supply Company, Salisbury. Post-war disability pension of 31s.9d from 26.10.1919 (50% disability, either from war, or incident when playing football). Reference after leaving: “Served with the colours 2 yrs 132 days. Very good conduct. He is a good clerk, willing and industrious, honest, sober, reliable, and gave satisfaction.” British War and Victory Medals.
( John) Edmund MONK, insurance agent (Wesleyan and General Insurance Co), son of John Edmund Monk, “Carriage Drive Manager”, Denbies Lodge (London Road). 6th (?2nd) Batt, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), Service No. 4323, wounded 1.7.1916, prisoner of war. Later 20th London Regiment, G/36853, . Lance Corporal. No service records but medals.
Alfred John PITTS, born 1890 Ranmore, captured Mesopotamia, survived Long March, died 1948.
Leonard OVERTON, estate carpenter and wheelwright, b. 1891, youngest child of William James Overton (estate carter) and (Rachel) Ann (nee Jones), of Lampeter, Wales. Cousin to Frederick Buckland of the War Memorial. Baptised St Barnabas and went to the School. Living Bakehouse Cottages 1901 and 1911. In 1909 enlisted as a Territorial at Dorking in 5th Batt, The Queen’s, service number 1029. In World War 1, G Company, 1/5 Battalion The Queen’s, service number 240073. Served 1914-19 in Mesopotamia and India. Artificer in Military Works Services under CRE (Corps of Royal Engineers). Promoted Lance-corporal, Corporal, Lance-serjeant. Hospitalised twice in 1917 with sandfly fever, once in Oct 1918 with influenza. Discharged 4th April 1919. 14-15 Star, British War and Victory Medals, Territorial Force Efficiency Medal (for long service). Married Eva Emily Peters of Dene Street, Dorking in 1931 at St Paul’s Church Dorking. In the 1934 photo of Men with 20 years service on Denbies Estate. Living 4 Fox Cottages 1939, and 3 Lime Tree Cottages when died in 1977. Not apparently buried at St Barnabas, maybe in Dorking Cemetery with his wife (buried 1983 aged 96).
George Herbert ROYAL, farm labourer, b. 1883, worked Birtley and came to Ranmore with Henry Cubitt. Married Emily Louisa nee Hedger, four daughters when enlisted 13th November 1915 (fifth born January 1916), living Garlic Cottage, Ranmore Common. Private T/205749, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), previously No. 6107, 1/4 RWS. Served India, discharged 1919 to Garlic Cottage, Ranmore Common. British War Medal, Two sons born and a sixth daughter. Served Denbies Home Guard WW2.
RANMORE MEN OF MILITARY AGE WHO MAY HAVE SERVED BUT NO RECORDS YET FOUND
There are no doubt others in this category, whose names and details will be added as they come to light.
THE HOME FRONT
RANMORE WOMEN WHO SERVED IN THE VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) OF THE RED CROSS
The Hon. Maud Cubitt, and later as Lady Ashcombe, was President of the Surrey Branch of the Red Cross from 1909 until just before the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. During World War 1, a working party of VADs was set up at Denbies, to sew and knit items for the troops. Several members of this group were mothers or other relatives of men whose names are on the Ranmore War Memorial, The complete list from the Red Cross records is below. At present we do not know who many of them are – any information will be greatly appreciated (contact us).
Miss Kitty BERRY, engaged 19.6.15.
Miss Edith M. BOWLES, engaged Jan. 1915.
Mrs Sarah (Jane) BOXALL, wife of Denbies butler Charles Boxall, lived Dairy Cottage (see photograph, right). Charles was foreman of the jury at the 1910 inquest on George Ansell, Denbies Estate foreman.
Mrs Clara CARR
Miss Laura FALDO, engaged 1.12.15
Miss Elsie FARROW, engaged 28.9.15
Miss Elise FARROW [? same person as above, name duplicated], engaged Sept 1915
Miss Gladys FARROW, engaged 27.9.16
Miss Laura HALL
Mrs Jennie HEDGER [there were two Jennie Hedgers on Ranmore, trying to work out which one this is].
Mrs Elizabeth (Martha) HONE, previously Ansell, nee Simmonds, married 1. George Ansell, Estate foreman; after he died, married 2. Walter William Hone, Estate hand, mother of Albert George Ansell who died in WW2 and is remembered at the Ranmore Remembrance Service.
Mrs Amelia (Mrs Isaac) LUFF, wife of Isaac Luff (see Home Guard above, and They Also Served (World War 1).
Mrs Agnes MORLEY
Mrs Eline OBERG
Mrs Ellen PAUL
Miss Gertrude Vera SORBY
Mrs Mary E STENNING, engaged May 1917
Mrs Jane WELFORD