John Henry COOLLEDGE was born on 25th Jul 1884 at Purleigh, Essex. He enlisted into the Royal Navy as a Stoker in 1902 and was serving aboard HMS Cressy when war broke out. On 22nd Sep 1914 John’s ship was was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-9 whilst in the North Sea near Holland with the loss of 560 of her crew, including John. He was aged 30.
John Hugh COMPTON (aka Jack) was born 1st Aug 1897 at Walthamstow, Essex. He enlisted into the East Surrey Regiment during Sep 1914 aged 17 and was sent to France on 24th Mar 1915. Jack was killed in action just one month later on 25th April.
Harold CLIFFORD was born in 1883 at Battersea, Surrey. He enlisted into the 11th Royal Sussex Regiment in Jun 1916 and was killed in action on 18th Sep 1917 age 34/35.
Stephen CHOPPEN was born in 1895 at Hadleigh, Essex. He enlisted into the 9th Essex Regiment in 1915 and was killed accidentally on 25th May 1916 age 21.
Reginald COLLINS was born 12th Sep 1897 in St George Hanover Square Pimlico, London. He enlisted on 26th Jun 1916 into the 24th London Regiment, Queen’s Battalion and died in action in Greece on 7th May 1917 aged 19 with the rank of sergeant.
Charles Claude COLLINS was born on 10th June 1880 at Ipswich, Suffolk. He enlisted into the 3rd (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) volunteer unit on 2nd Jun 1915 but was swiftly discharged as unfit. He died 5th Dec 1916 of Tuberculosis age 36.
Fred CHOPPEN was born in 1889 in Thundersley, Essex. He enlisted into the 7th King’s Royal Rifle Corps on 22nd Feb 1915 and was killed in action 15th Sep 1916 age 27.
Sidney Charles ALLEN was born 1894 and his brother James Edward ALLEN in 1896, both in Hadleigh. Sidney enlisted into the Royal Garrison Artillery (Anti-Aircraft Depot) in 1915 and died at Carisbrook Military Hospital 25th Apr 1918. James enlisted into the Essex Regiment (1st/9th Battalion) in 1914 and died 8th Apr 1919, the last soldier to die from the town.
Harold Henry CALVERLEY was born in 1896 in Hadleigh, Essex. Shortly after war broke out, he enlisted as a Private into the Royal Fusiliers (London Regiment) 12th Battalion. He disembarked for France on 1st Sep 1915 and just 28 days later, on 28th Sep 1915, he was listed as missing in action. He was later presumed to have been killed on this date during the Battle of Loos. Harold was 19 years old.
Herbert John BUSH was born in 1885 at Rawreth, Essex. He enlisted into the Essex Regiment 2nd Battalion in Mar 1916 and was killed in action on 15 Oct 1916.
Frederick CARTER was born Mar 1900 in Southchurch, Essex. He enlisted underage at 14 (almost 15) into the 10th Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own) in Mar 1915 and was killed in action on 3rd Sep 1916 age 16.
John Albert Arnold (aka John Albert Clarke) was born in 1899 in Islington, London. He enlisted twice underage and for a third time with the London Regiment. He died from wounds after the battle of Villers-Bretonneux on 25th April 1918.
We walk past and sit on park benches everyday, many of which have plaques in remembrance to departed loved ones. It suddenly dawned one me not too long ago that I had never taken the time to read the inscriptions properly before, and being both artist and genealogist, thought it would make a really interesting project to photograph each bench and do a little research into each person named.