Bourne End is a village in Hertfordshire, situated between Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead. There was a rail disaster at Bourne End on 30 September 1945 when an overnight sleeper train from Scotland to London Euston was derailed causing 43 deaths and 64 injuries.
Bourne End’s name comes from the Bourne Gutter which flows into the River Bulbourne in Bourne End.
The following table lists the names commemorated on the war memorial.
|Ball WA||1814||Pte||Aust. Inf||03/07/16|
|Coker F||54077||Pte||Can. Inf||01/10/16|
|Goodman J||35070||Pte||North Lancs||11/08/17|
|Howard WC||1519||L/Cpl||Rifle Bde||01/09/18|
|Roy W||1792||Pte||Aust. Inf||08/08/15|
|Taylor RC||–||Lieu||South Staffs||04/10/17|
There are two Australian soldiers commemorated on Bourne End War Memorial: Ball WA and Roy W.
MEMORIAL NAME: Ball WA.
FULL NAME: Wilfred Albert Ball.
The 1901 England Census records the family living at the Fox & Hounds pub.
|Benjamin||Head||34||Beer Retailer||Westminster, London|
|William Valentine||Son||11||–||Diss, Norfolk|
|Benjamin Arthur||Son||9||–||Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, Ireland|
|Wilfred Albert||Son||8||–||Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, Ireland|
|Daisy Lyndia||Daughter||6||–||Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, Ireland|
|Cyril Frederick||Son||3||–||Northchurch, Kent|
|Caroline Muriel||Daughter||2 mths||–||Northchurch, Kent|
The 1911 England Census now had the family living in Rucklers Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire.
|William Valentine||Son||21||Book Finisher||Diss, Norfolk|
|Benjamin Arthur||Son||19||Box Cutter||Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, Ireland|
|Wilfred Albert||Son||18||Book Binder||Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, Ireland|
During the period between 1911 and the start of the First World War in 1914, Wilfred Albert Ball moved to Australia, where he started a new life as a farmer.
On 27 November 1914, Wilfred Albert Ball joined the Australian Army, enlisting at Liverpool Camp, New South Wales. He listed his next-of-kin as his Father Benjamin, giving an address in Horseferry Road, London.
His Service Papers, now held by the National Archives of Australia, provide this description.
- Height: 5 feet 8 inches.
- Weight: 10 stone (63.5 kg).
- Chest Measurement: 31.5 – 35.5 inches.
- Eyes: Grey.
- Hair: Brown.
- Religion: Church of England.
On 11 February 1915, Private Ball together with the other soldiers of the 2nd Reinforcement Battalion, 2nd Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Forces, embarked on the H.M.A.T A48 “Seang Bee” for overseas service.
Ball’s Army Casualty Form B.103 records that he injured his left foot during the Gallipoli campaign. As a consequence he was evacuated to Floriana Hospital, Malta, on 14 January 1915. He returned to Gallipoli on 8 July 1915 and was detailed to beech party duty. From 5 September 1915, Ball spent four days in hospital at Gallipoli. He then re-joined his unit at Lemnos on 24 December 1915.
At Alexandria, on 22 March 1916, Bell embarked on the ship Ivernia for the journey to France. Six days later the ship arrived at Marseilles.
The final entry on Ball’s Form B.103 records that Ball was wounded in action, with a stomach wound. He was removed to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, but he died from his wound on 3 July 1916.
Wilfred Albert Ball is buried in Estaires Communal Cemetery Extension, Plot II, Row S, Grave 11.
His Father Benjamin Ball, as his next-of-kin received the following items: Prayer Book, Cards, Wrist Watch (damaged), Purse, Photos and various Curios.
Wilfred Albert Ball is commemorated on Panel 31 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
MEMORIAL NAME: ROY W
FULL NAME: WILLIAM ROY.
William Roy is the son of James and Clara Roy, Bourne End, Hertfordshire.
The 1901 England Census had the Roy family living at 122 Bourne End Lane.
|John||Son||19||Timber Carter||Brockley, Kent|
Sometime after the 1901 Census, William Roy went to Australia to start a new life as a farmer.
On 19 January 1915, William Roy enlisted at Mackay, Queensland. His service papers, held at the National Archives of Australia, record his next-of-kin as his Mother Clara Roy, Bourne End, Hertfordshire.
His Service Papers, now held by the National Archives of Australia, provide this description.
- Height: 5 feet 7 inches.
- Weight: 134 lbs (60.8 kg).
- Chest Measurement: 32.5 – 36 inches.
- Eyes: Blue.
- Hair: Light Brown.
- Religion: Church of England.
Private William Roy, 4th Replacement Battalion, 15th Battalion, Australian Infantry, embarked on the H.M.A.T A.15 “Star of England” on 8 April 1915.
Roy’s Army Casualty Form B.103 records that he joined the Battalion, on the Gallipoli Peninsular, on 7 June 1915. It then records that Private Roy was “wounded – missing” on 8 August 1915. A subsequent Court of Enquiry changed Roy’s status to “killed in action”.
Private Roy’s remains were never located, so he is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial, panel 49.
Clara Roy, as Private Roy’s next-of-kin, received the following items: two razors, knife, two brushes, comb, housewife (compact sewing kit), pipe and handkerchief. Roy’s service papers also include a note stating that Clara Roy was awarded a pension of “£2 per fortnight, commencing 5 March 1915”.
William Roy is commemorated on Panel 77 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
There is one Canadian soldier commemorated on Bourne End War Memorial: Coker F
MEMORIAL NAME: COKER F.
FULL NAME: FREDERICK COKER.
Frederick Coker was born on 26 August 1892, Bovington Parish, Hertfordshire. His Father was William Coker.
The 1911 England Census now had the family living in London Road, Boxmoor, Hertfordshire.
|William||Head||49||County Council Roadman||Bovingdon, Herts|
|Annie||Wife||42||–||Hemel Hempstead, Herts|
|Grace||Daughter||18||Paper Mill||Bovingdon, Herts|
|Frederick||Son||20||Territorial Reservist*||Bovingdon, Herts|
NOTE *: Coker’s service papers state that he served 2 years as a Territorial Reservist.
Between the 1911 England Census and the start of the First World War, Frederick Coker emigrated to Canada, giving his occupation as a farm labourer.
On 24 October 1914, Frederick Coker enlisted in the Canadian Army as Private number 54077. He was assigned to the “A” Company, 18th Battalion.
Whilst in the Canadian Army, on 16 February 1915, Frederick Coker (age 28) married Mary Murray (age 25). The marriage took place at London, Middlesex, Ontario, which was also Mary’s hometown.
On 18 April 1915, Private Coker left Halifax on the ship “Grampian”.
His Service Papers, now held by the Libraries and Archives Canada, provide this description.
- Height: 5 feet 8 inches.
- Chest Measurement: 31 – 35 inches.
- Eyes: Grey.
- Hair: Light Brown.
- Religion: Church of England.
On 2 June 1915, Private Frederick Coker was admitted to Moore Barracks Hospital, Shorncliffe, Kent with tonsillitis. He was discharged on 8 June 1915.
On 15 September 1915, Frederick Coker arrived in Boulogne, France. He was granted 8 days leave on 25 February 1916.
On 19 October 1916, Coker was reported “missing – believed killed”. Three months later. Coker’s status was changed to “killed in action”.
Private William Coker is buried in Regina Trench Cemetery, Grandcourt, France: Plot I, Row D, Grave 19.
MEMORIAL NAME: BUNKER J.
FULL NAME: JESSE BUNKER.
Jesse Bunker was born in 1899 in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.
The 1901 England Census had the family living in a four room dwelling at 187 Winkwell, Hertfordshire.
|William||Head||36||Road Foreman||Chipperfield, Herts|
|Edward||Son||14||Stable Lad||Chipperfield, Herts|
|George||Son||1 mo||–||Winkwell, Herts|
The 1911 England Census had the family living at five room dwelling in Bourne End, Hemel Hempstead.
|William||Head||46||Road Foreman||Hemel Hempstead|
|May||Daughter||20||Brush Hand||Hemel Hempstead|
|Lily||Daughter||17||Brush Hand||Hemel Hempstead|
|Albert||Son||15||Brush Hand||Hemel Hempstead|
G/14271 Private Jesse Bunker, 7th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, was killed in action on 19 May 1918, age 19. His remains are in Mailly Wood Cemetery, Mailly-Maillet: Plot II, Row M, Grave 2. He is entitled to the British War and Victory medals.
The Soldiers’ Effects Records, held at the National Army Museum, confirm two payments to Jesse’s Mother (his nominated next-of-kin): £12 1s 9d on 9 September 1918 and £4 on 6 December 1919.
MEMORIAL NAME: CROCKETT T and CROCKETT W.
FULL NAME: Thomas Crockett and William Crockett.
There is one pair of brothers on the Bourne End War Memorial: Thomas and William Crockett. Thomas was 2 years older than William. The 1901 England Census had the Crockett family living in a four room dwelling at 44 Bourne End.
|Charlotte||Wife||54||–||Bourne End, Herts|
|Lizzie||Daughter||31||Maid||Bourne End, Herts|
|Harry||Son||19||Labourer||Bourne End, Herts|
|Richard||Son||18||Labourer||Bourne End, Herts|
|Nellie||Daughter||15||Domestic Maid||Bourne End, Herts|
|Thomas||Son||13||Labourer||Bourne End, Herts|
|William||Son||11||Scholar||Bourne End, Herts|
The 1911 England Census had the Crockett family living in the same four room dwelling.
|Richard||Son||18||Butler||Bourne End, Herts|
|Mary Ann||Daughter-in-law||27||–||Sevenoaks, Kent|
|Thomas||Son||23||Labourer||Bourne End, Herts|
10975 Private William Crockett, 1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, was killed in action on 11 March 1915, age 26. William Crockett’s remains were not recovered, so he is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, Panels 17 and 18.
William Crockett’s Medal Index Card only records his entitlement to the British War and Victory medals.
The Soldiers’ Effects Records, held at the National Army Museum, confirm two payments to William’s Mother (his nominated next-of-kin): £7 17s 2d on 26 July 1918 and £5 on 2 August 1919.
6067 Private Thomas Crockett, 1st/8th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, died on 9 October 1916, age 29. He is buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension Plot I, Row H, Grave 9. He is entitled to the British War and Victory medals.
The Soldiers’ Effects Records, held at the National Army Museum, confirm two payments to Thomas’ Mother (his nominated next-of-kin): £3 11s 7d on 17 March 1917 and £3 on 6 December 1919.
MEMORIAL NAME: FRANKLIN J.
FULL NAME: John Franklin.
John Franklin was born in 1892 in Hemel Hempstead, and lived with his family in a four room dwelling at 132 Bourne End Lane.
|Herbert||Son||20||Watercress Farm||Bovingdon, Herts|
|Jane||Daughter||17||Book Packer||Bourne End|
|Arthur||Son||14||Saw Mill Labourer||Hemel Hempstead|
The 1911 England Census had the Franklin family living in the same four room dwelling.
|Joseph||Head||59||Farm Labourer||Nettleden, Herts|
|Herbert||Son||20||Farm Labourer||Bovingdon, Herts|
|Arthur||Son||24||Saw Mill Sawyer||Hemel Hempstead|
|Jessie||Son||21||Saw Mill Stoker||Hemel Hempstead|
113899 Gunner John Franklin, 4th Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action on 29 July 1917, age 25. Franklin’s remains were not recovered, so he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Bay 1. He is entitled to the British War and Victory medals.
The Soldiers’ Effects Records, held at the National Army Museum, confirm two payments to Franklin’s Mother: £8 1s 14d on 20 November 1917 and £8 on 24 November 1919.
MEMORIAL NAME: GOODMAN J.
FULL NAME: Joseph Goodman.
Joseph Goodman was born in 1887 at Croxley Green, Hertfordshire.
The 1911 England Census had the extended Goodman family living in the same five room dwelling at 122 New Road, Croxley Green, Hertfordshire.
|George||Head||47||Farm Labourer||Croxley Green|
|Sarah||Wife||46||House Wife||Croxley Green|
|Albert||Son||25||Farm Carter||Croxley Green|
|Jane||Daughter in Law||23||House Wife||Croxley Green|
|Edith||Daughter||19||Saw Mill Stoker||Croxley Green|
|Ethel Sophia||Grand Daughter||1.25||–||Croxley Green|
|Annie||Daughter||7 months||–||Croxley Green|
35070 Private Joseph Goodman, 9th Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, was killed in action on 11 August 1917, age 30. Goodman’s remains were not recovered, so he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Panels 41 and 43.
Private Joseph Goodman is entitled to the British War and Victory medals.
The Pension Index Card for Private Joseph Goodman records that in addition to his widow Jane, who later married John Nash and moved to Bourne End, there was four children:
- Ethel Sophia, born 15 January 1910.
- Joseph William, born 21 April 1913.
- Lilian Gertrude, born 10 May 1914.
- Dorothy Alice, born 15 July 1915.
The Soldiers’ Effects Records, held at the National Army Museum, confirm two payments to Goodman’s widow Jane Nash: £3 6s on 11 December 1917 and £9 10s on 11 March 1920.
MEMORIAL NAME: GROVER G.
FULL NAME: George Grover.
George Grover, the son of Charles and Annie Grover, was born in 1889 at Winkwell, Hertfordshire.
The 1911 England Census had the Grover family living in 4 room dwelling in Bourne End, Hertfordshire.
1911 England Census also records that Charles and Annie Grover had been married for 30 years, they had six children plus one child who had died.
The Medal Index Card records that Private Grover entered the France and Flanders theatre of operation on 30 July 1915.
17525 Private George Grover, 6th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on 15 July 1916, age 27. George Grover’s remains are now in Pozieres British Cemetery, Ovillers-la-Boisselle, France, Plot III, Row G, Grave 23.
George Grover is entitled to the 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory medals.
The Pension Index Card for George Grover records that his Mother, his nominated next-of-kin, received a pension of five shillings a week from 27 March 1917.
MEMORIAL NAME: HART G.
FULL NAME: George James Hart.
George James Hart was born in 1886 at Buckland Common, Buckinghamshire.
The 1901 England Census had the Hart family living at 176 Broadway, Northchurch, Hertfordshire.
|David||Head||45||Farm Labourer||Hawridge, Bucks|
|Rachel||Wife||43||House Wife||Little Missenden, Bucks|
|Alice||Daughter||17||–||Bourne End, Herts|
|George||Son||15||Watercress Cutter||Buckland Common, Bucks|
For the 1911 England Census, George Hart is recorded as a labourer, lodging with the Ansell family at 3 Halls Cottage, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire.
In 1912, George James Hart married Marguerite Lillian Hyde.
169175 Gunner George James Hart, “D” Anti-Aircraft battery, Royal Field Artillery, died of wounds sustained in action on 3 May 1917, age 31. George Hart’s remains are in St. Nicholas British Cemetery, France. Gunner Hart is entitled to the British War and Victory medals.
The Pension Index Card for George Grover records that his Wife, his nominated next-of-kin, received a pension of 13 shillings 9 pence a week from 19 November 1917.
MEMORIAL NAME: HOWARD WC.
FULL NAME: William Charles Howard
William Charles Howard was born in 1888 at Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.
The 1891 England Census had the Howard family living at 64 Red Lion Yard, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.
|Henry||Son||10||–||Hampton Court, Middx|
At the time of the 1901 England Census, the Howard family had moved to 125 Bourne End Lane.
At the time of the 1911 England Census, the family moved to 2 Manor Street, Berkhamsted.
|Charles John||Head||53||Grocer’s Porter||Berkhamsted|
|Kate||Sister||56||Straw Hat Maker||Tring|
|Charles William||Son||14||Office youth, Paper Mill||Berkhamsted|
1519 Lance-Corporal William Charles Howard, 2nd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade, arrived in the France and Flanders theatre of operations on 7 November 1914.
On 1 September 1918, just two months short of the end of World War One, Lance-Corporal Howard was killed in action. His remains were not recovered, so Howard is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France, Panel 10. Lance-Corporal Howard is entitled to the 1914 Star, British War and Victory medals.
The Soldiers’ Effects Records, held at the National Army Museum, confirm two payments to Howard’s Mother Rose: £22 1s 7d on 24 January 1919 and £18 10s on 11 December 1919.
MEMORIAL NAME: MESSENGER F.
FULL NAME: William Ernest Frank Messenger.
William Ernest Frank, known as Frank, Messenger was born in 1897 at Hemel Hempstead.
At the time of the 1901 England Census, the Messenger family lived at 49 London Road, Boxmoor, Hertfordshire.
|Walter A||Head||26||Rope and Tarpaulin Manufacturer||Boxmoor|
|Lillian A||Sister||24||–||Hemel Hempstead|
|Eleanor Worthington||Visitor||24||Insurance Calculator||Wigginton|
|Mary M Turney||Servant||19||Servant||Abbots Langley|
At the time of the 1911 England Census, the Messenger family still lived at 49 London Road, Boxmoor, Hertfordshire.
|Walter A||Head||36||Rope Maker||Boxmoor|
|Rupert||Son||15||Engineer’s Apprentice||Hemel Hempstead|
|–||Son||Under 1 Month||–||Boxmoor|
Frank Messenger joined the Army on 20 August 1913, stating that his occupation was a rope maker.
10435 Private William Ernest Frank Messenger, 18th (Queen Mary’s Own) Hussars, entered the France and Flanders operational theatre on 16 August 1914.
On 17 October 1914, Frank Messenger was killed in action. His remains are buried in Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, France: Plot II, Row O, Grave 36. Frank Messenger is entitled to the 1914 Star with clasp, British War and Victory medals.
The Soldiers’ Effects Records, held at the National Army Museum, confirm two payments to Messenger’s Mother Cecelia: £9 2s 2d on 18 February 1915 and £5 on 18 June 1919.
MEMORIAL NAME: Putman J.
FULL NAME: Joseph Putman.
Joseph Putman was born in 1863, Bovingdon, Hertfordshire. The 1911 England Census has the Putman family living in a 3 room dwelling in Bourne End.
Joseph Putman’s Service Papers, held at the UK’s National Archives, state that he joined the Army, at Aldershot, on 27 September 1915. He was assigned to the Army Service Corps (later the Royal Army Service Corps) as number T4/141097.
Between 27 September 1915 and 4 June 1916, Private Putman served in the UK. On 5 June 1916, he embarked at Southampton for the cross-channel crossing to Rouen, where he arrived on 6 June 1916.
Between 5 June 1916 and 15 November 1916, Private Putman served with the British Expeditionary Force in France. On 7 November 1916, Putman was admitted to 44th Casualty Clearing Station for treatment of “Debility”. On 14 November 1916, Putman left France for the UK, arriving on the following day. That same day, 15 November 1916, Putman was admitted to hospital, being discharged on 20 November 1916.
On 3 March 1917, Putman’s body was found in Bath Canal. At time of his death, Putman was age 52.
Among Joseph Putman’s service papers, held at the National Archive, is a newspaper report. However, the newspaper’s title has been removed but it would probably have been a local Bath newspaper. The article is reproduced below.
INQUEST ON SOLDIER
DROWNED NEAR BATHAMPTON
Verdict of “Found Drowned”
An inquest was held at the George Inn, Bathampton, by Mr. S. Craddock, County Coroner, on Tuesday respecting the death of Private Joseph Putman, of the A.S.C, stationed in Bath, whose body was found in the canal near the Meadow Farm arch, Bathampton, on Saturday afternoon.
The widow, Emily Putman, said her husband was 52 years of age. She last saw him a fortnight ago, at Bourne End, Boxmoor, Herts, when he seemed quite well and cheerful. He had been in Kitchener’s Army nearly 17 months, and never complained to the witness of not liking Army life. She knew of nothing that would make him commit suicide. They had two sons in the Army at Salonika, but her husband did not worry about them being there. She last heard from her husband on Saturday; he asked her to write as soon as she could, and she replied by return of post.
P.C. Keedwell said that letter had been returned to the widow by the military authorities.
Private Clarence Fleming, of the A.S.C, deposed to seeing the body of deceased in the middle of the canal on Saturday afternoon about 4.45. He passed the spot rather less than an hour earlier, but then saw no sign of the body. Witness sent for the police. He thought he could have got the body in, but made no attempt to do so, as he thought it had risen from the bottom after being in the water some time. Deceased was in the same company as witness, but he had never previously seen deceased. Witness thought the reason the body was not seen by other people who were about was that it was under water. It was quite casually that the witness saw it.
Sergeant J.W. Parsons, of the A.S.C, said deceased, who was in his company, was dismissed from parade about 2.35pm on Saturday. Deceased did not seem hardly the same man on the previous Thursday and Friday, he seeming rather depressed because, witness thought, he had an idea that he might have to go out to the war. At 9.45 on Saturday night when witness called the roll, deceased was missing.
Police Constable Keedwell, stationed at Bathampton, said he received information about 5.10 on Saturday afternoon as the body being in the canal, and he came down and found it in about five feet of water ten yards on the Bath side of the Meadow Farm arch. Witness got it out; the body was cold but limp, and had not been long in the water. With assistance, he applied artificial respiration for about 40 minutes, but there was never any sign of life. On the body witness found a letter from deceased’s wife in which she voiced the hope that he would not have to go to France again. Deceased’s watch was still working, and there was also on the body a soldier’s French dictionary. On the steep bank in a field opposite to the towing path there were footprints in a direct line with the body. It was a field without a public path. The heel marks were most conspicuous and witness had ascertained that they corresponded with the heels of deceased’s boots.
The jury returned a verdict of “Found Drowned”.Newspaper cutting in the Service Papers of Joseph Putman.
T4/141097 Private Joseph Putman, Horse Transport, Army Service Corps, is buried at Bourne End (St. John) Churchyard, Northchurch.
Joseph Putman is entitled to the British War and Victory medals.
The Soldiers’ Effects Records, held at the National Army Museum, confirm two payments to his Widow Emily: £1 11s 4d on 30 August 1917 and £6 on 20 October 1919.
MEMORIAL NAME: Taylor RC.
FULL NAME: Roger Cecil Taylor.
Roger Cecil Taylor was born in Salta, Argentina in 1897. He departed the River Plate, Argentina, on the ship “Danube”, arriving at Southampton on 17 October 1898.
The 1911 England Census has Roger Cecil Taylor at a boarding school in Malven Wells, Worcestershire.
Initially enlisting in the Army Cyclist Corps, Taylor then transferred to the 7th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment with the rank of Lieutenant. His Medal Index Card records his next-of-kin as his Father Samuel Taylor, Ponchen End, Boxmoor, Hertfordshire.
Lieutenant Roger Cecil Taylor was killed in action on 4 October 1917, age 20, in Belgium. His remains are in Bard Cottage Cemetery, Plot V, Row A, Grave 2.
Roger Cecil Taylor is entitled to the British War and Victory medals.
The Probate Register records probate being granted to Taylor’s Father Samuel with effects of £213 12s 4d.