Our Book – WW1 Memorial Tablet – Discovering the Human Story

Stockcross & Marsh Benham
First World War Memorial Tablet
Discovering the human story

Copyright Stockcross & Surroundings History Association
Published November 2014
Price £10 (Inc P&P)
Copies can be purchased using the order form. (Click here to download)

Proceeds go to charity.

Introduction to the book
Scan of Book CoverSt John’s Church Stockcross stands above the Bath Road, near Newbury and midway between Bristol and London. It serves the villages of Marsh Benham and Stockcross. In the south transept of the early Victorian building, a memorial chapel was created in 1922 to honour the dead of the First World War. It includes an east window in glowing stained glass, a glorious tester above the altar and an oval tablet, finely engraved with the names of the fallen and the exhortation: ‘Pray for the men of Stockcross and Marsh Benham who gave their lives in the Great War 1914–1919’. Near Remembrance Day each year the 27 men’s names are read out to the congregation.

S&SHA members have researched the lives of these men who died in WW1 in an effort to reach behind those twenty-seven names: as children, workers, citizens, husbands and fathers; as men who walked our village streets before us; and as sailors and soldiers, recording their war service, whether over weeks or years, and how and where they met their end .

This book is the result of their work; it is a humbling and moving account of the men’s lives and how they met their end, in France & Flanders, Gallipoli, Salonika, Italy, and at sea.

We gratefully acknowledge the decisive contribution of the Heritage Lottery Fund towards this book, and the project as a whole.


“Pray for the men of Stockcross & Marsh Benham who gave their lives in the Great War 1914-1919”

Private 5831 Lewis Albert Beckinsale
BCoy, 1/4th Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
Lewis Beckinsale was born in Newbury in 1880 and died aged 36 on 18 August 1916 on the Somme. He is commemorated at Pozieres British Cemetery
Ovillers-La Boiselle, The Somme, France

Lance-corporal G/43762 Cyril Joseph Reddy Calkin
Gunner, 1st Battalion Middlesex Regiment
Private 25521 Harry Vincent Calkin
17th Battalion Welsh Regiment
The Calkin brothers Harry (1893 – 1916) and Cyril (1895 – 1918) were Stockcross boys who died in their early 20s in the great infantry battles of the Western Front.
Harry is buried at Béthune town cemetery in Pas-de-Calais; grave reference number V.G.63
Cyril is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial in the cemetery of the same name near Ypres in northern Belgium.

Sergeant 201114 Albert Darling, M.S.M
2nd/4th Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
Albert Darling was born in 1888 at Marsh Benham. He served through the World War and was killed aged 30 in November 1918 in France. He is buried in Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension Northern France

Corporal 442378 Arthur Burdett Francis
A Coy, 54th Kootenay Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force
Arthur Francis was born on 4 May 1880 in Stockcross and died aged 34 on 9 April 1917 at the battle of Vimy Ridge. He is buried in Givenchy Road Canadian Cemetery Neuville-St. Vaast, Northern France

Private 15504 James Widdick
8th Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
James is commemorated on the Stockcross Memorial Tablet as James Fuller, by which name he was known locally, but his actual surname was Widdick and his military records are in that name.
James was born in 1886 and was killed in action on 3 September 1916. aged 30. He is commemorated at Thistle Dump Cemetery High wood Longueval, Somme, France.

Sgt 426 George Mount Beaconsfield Haines
B Coy, 1st/4th Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
George was baptised at Stockcross Church on 1 November 1888 and was killed in action on 16 May 1916, aged 27. He is buried in Hebuterne Military Cemetary. Hebuterne is a village nr Albert (Somme) in France.

Seaman 723290 Albert Charles Harper Royal Navy
(Specially Entered Mercantile Crew)
Albert Harper was born in Stockcross in 1891, served in the Navy and was killed during a battle at sea in February 1916. He is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial that stands on Plymouth Hoe looking out to sea.

Private 9300 William George Harper
C company, 2nd Battalion Cheshire Regiment
William was born in Stockcross in 1889. He was a regular soldier and fought on the Western Front and in Salonika. He died of malaria aged 27 on 22 October 1916. He is buried in the Manchester Southern Cemetery, Lancashire.

Private 13066 Stanley Hillier
8th Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
Stanley Hillier was born at Wexcombe near Marlborough in 1896 and was killed in action aged 18 on 25 September 1915 at the Battle of Loos in France. He is remembered on the Loos Memorial which stands to commemorate some 20000 men who have no known grave.

Private 24859 Alfred Edward Hine
7th Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
No Albert or Albert Ed Hine was found who had lived in the Stockcross area and was killed in World War 1. There was an Alfred Edward Hine, however, who lived at Marsh Benham. It seems probable that there was an error in instruction to the carver of the Memorial Tablet, who carved Albert instead of Alfred.
Alfred Edward Hine was born at Barford St Martin in 1883. He was killed in action aged 34 on 23 April 1917, in Macedonia, Greece. He is commemorated in Karasouli Military Cemetery, Central Macedonia, Greece.

Private 23423 Albert Thomas Johnson
7th Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
18 year old Albert Johnson was conscripted in May 1916 and killed on 26 October 1916 in Macedonia, Greece. He is commemorated in Karasouli Military Cemetery, Central Macedonia, Greece.

William Alfred Kemp
Boy 2nd Class Royal Navy, J/68049 HMS Impregnable
Alfred Kemp was born in Stockcross on 31 August 1901. He died of meningitis, aged 15 years and 9 months, on 3 May 1917 while stationed at Devonport on a naval training ship. He is buried in Ford Park Cemetery in Plymouth.

Private 16592 Arthur Lainsbury
1st Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
Arthur was born in Newbury on 28 September 1892, and died on 26 July 1916 in the Somme offensive in France. His name is carved onto the Thiepval Memorial, the memorial that commemorates the missing of the Somme.

Trooper 2075 Frank Martin
D Squadron 1/1st Berkshire Yeomanry
Born in Stockcross in 1883, Frank Martin died in the Gallipoli campaign on 25 August 1915, aged 34. He is commemorated on The Helles Memorial that stands on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey.

Private 16381 Archibald John Palmer
8th Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
Born in Marsh Benham in January 1888, Archibald Palmer was killed in action on 21 March 1918, aged 32, during the great German offensive in Picardy. He is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial in France.

Private Frederick William Palmer
Royal Berkshire Regiment, 28536, Labour Company, 98726
13th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, 44392
Frederick Palmer born in Stockcross on 10 September 1887, died on 17 June 1918, in Italy. He is buried in the Dueville Communal Cemetery Extension, Province of Vicenza, Italy.

Private 225055 George Palmer
The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)
George Palmer was born on 4 February 1884 and was killed, aged 33, on 22 June 1917. His burial place is at Poelcapelle British Cemetery, Langemark-Poelcapelle, West V., Belgium.

Corporal 201027 (formerly 3363) James Pocock
Private 201028 (formerly 3364) Joseph Pocock
Private Signaller 201029 (formerly 3365) Sydney Richard Pocock
All served in Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire) Regiment
Three brothers, two of whom were twins, lived at Marsh Benham, joined up and served together on the Western Front.
Sydney was killed on 5 December 1917 whilst with the 2/4th Battalion during the battle of Cambrai. He was 25 years old. He is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Northern France, for men with no known graves.
The Twins
Joseph was killed in action on 21 March 1918 whilst serving with the 8th Battalion. He is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial in France.
James served with the 8th Battalion and continued to serve until he was invalided home to the Northern Military Hospital in Newcastle-on-Tyne sometime before the end of the war in November 1918. He died there on 2 January 1918 of pulmonary tuberculosis and is buried in St John’s Churchyard, Stockcross.

Private Albert Knight Pothecary
The Royal Hampshire Regiment, Regimental no 3595
86th Coy The Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), Service no 45962
Albert Knight Pothecary was born in 1889, in Redhill, Surrey and was brought up by his aunt Emma and uncle Sidney. Albert was killed on 28 February 1917 probably from shelling or sniper fire. He was 28. His grave is in the London Cemertery and Extension, Longuval, France.

Captain Sir Richard Vincent Sutton, M.C.
1st Life Guards
Sir Richard Sutton was born in 1891, served through World War 1, and died of influenza and pneumonia in November 1918.

Private Harry Thorne, M2/181675
905th Company Army Service Corps
Harry Thorne was born in 1889 in Hoe Benham, Berkshire and died at sea on 4 May 1917. His body was never found. He is commemorated in the cemetery at Savona, Italy.

Private 13062 William Willis
8th Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
William Willis, a Stockcross boy born in 1895, died on 16 December 1915 on the Western Front. He is commemorated on the wall of the Loos memorial.

CQMS 6595 Robert Winter
1st Battalion, The King’s Own Scottish Borderers
Robert Winter was born in 1880 in Cheam. He died at sea on 27 April 1915 after being wounded at Gallipoli. His name is on the memorial at Helles Part X111, on the Gallipoli peninsula and he is also remembered on his mother’s grave in St John’s churchyard, Stockcross.

William Bloomfield
The Unknown Soldier
Unfortunately, no William Bloomfield who died in WW1 has been found with any connection with the Stockcross area and it is a mystery why he is commemorated on the memorial Tablet in St John’s Church.
If you have any information that may help us to identify William and tell his story then please contact the Stockcross & Surroundings history Association on info@stockcrosshistory.org.uk. Meanwhile we will continue the search

The full story of these men can be found in our book entitled:
Stockcross & Marsh Benham First World War Memorial Tablet – Discovering the human story

To order a copy please complete and submit the order form (Download here) or e mail info@stockcrosshistory.org.uk
Price is £10 (Including P&P)