Mystery plaque dumped in Hornchurch, Essex

Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by Mike L, Mar 1, 2010.

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  1. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Sorry, I will try that again.:huh:

    Heading:
    THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 1919 (laurel wreaths top left and right corners)
    THESE DIED IN WAR THAT WE AT PEACE MIGHT LIVE
    THESE GAVE THEIR BEST. SO WE OUR BEST MUST GIVE
    Charles Bird
    Walter Brickett
    Henry Davis
    Humphrey Garth
    George Gurney
    Frederick Hopkins
    William King
    Clarence Knight
    Henry Pike
    William Read
    Bernard Rosbrook
    Edward Wellman
    Edward Windsor

    1939 – 1945
    Harold Blower
    Stanley Dyer
    Douglas Pegrum
    Stanley Clarkson


    The plaque is exactly 1 metre wide with a frame about 30mm deep (all 1 casting – there are some casting marks around lettering) It weighs about 100lb or so and there are 4 large ‘allen’ bolts screwed into bosses on the back along with traces of mortar. At some point 8 small holes were drilled in the frame and tapped out to take bolts. I am informed it is cast gunmetal.
    There are no identifying marks/stamps that I could find.

    So, are the WW1 names of any help?

    Mike
     
  2. -tmm-

    -tmm- Senior Member

    At first glance, picking out the most those men with the easiest names to narrow down (looking on cwgc) I cannot see anything obvious that these men have in common.
     
  3. chrisharley9

    chrisharley9 Senior Member

    Best repeated; Scouting??

    Will have a closer look at the names tomorrow & will also post on the Great War Forum

    Chris
     
  4. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Removed - link did not work
     
  5. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Found so far:
    WW1:
    Humphrey Garth, G18176, L/Cpl, 7th Bn, Queens Own Royal West Kent Regt.
    Died on 27 September 1916.
    Son of Douglas and Mildred Garth of Morden, Beaconsfield, Bucks. Born Chelsea, London.

    Clarence George Knight, 144643, Gunner, 342 Siege Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery.
    Died 25 February 1919 age 24.
    Son of Abraham Knight of 7 North Bank, Waltham Abbey, Essex

    Bernard Rosbrook 4797, Private, Honourable Artillery Company.
    Died on 11 August 1916.
    Son of George and Annie Rosbrook, of 47 Hitchings Avenue, Walthamstow, Essex.

    Edward Wellman, P/5546, L/Cpl, Military Mounted Police, Military Police Corps.
    Died on 8 April 1918 age 28.
    Son of George and Harriet Wellman of Parkstone, Dorset.



    WW2:
    DOUGLAS FRANK PEGRUM 1800767, Sergeant, 103 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Died on 16 May 1944.
    Son of James Arthur Pegrum and Jessie Pegrum, of Maymyo, Burma.
    Remembered with honour, RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL.

    Stanley John Clarkson 651183, Aircraftman 1st Class, 113 Sqdn. Royal Air Force
    Died on 19 December 1941 age 22.
    Son of John H. Clarkson and Margeret E. Clarkson, of Leyton, Essex.
    1.H.23 Helioplois War Cemetery.
     
  6. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    The GWF thread is running here
     
  7. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    At Home Dad,
    Thanks very much for that, been watching your link with great interest. Good bunch of people you seem to have on the GWF, much the same as here!
    Obviously the 'easyish' bit of CWGC search has been done by several people and I hope others won't waste their valuable time duplicating what has already been found.
    To that end I will update this thread as often as I can when new info becomes available.
    There are several names on the list for WW1 and WW2 that are a little more difficult to track down due to common name and 'only initials' on some CWGC listings etc. If there are a few 'specialists' out there perhaps they could have a look at those?
    There seems to be a trend appearing here, possibly a 'workplace' or school memorial around the Essex/Herts area. The names Pegrum (WW2) Brickett, Garth, Gurney, Rosbrook and Wellman (WW1) seem to be obvious targets for further investigation.
    Wish I had your sources/expertise.

    Thanks all for your efforts, greatly appreciated.

    Mike
     
  8. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    They've ID'd three Clerks so far. Dont know what that could mean from a workplace point of view yet, but...

    Some of the guys were born/living very close to me (Leyton). Almost as if the building which housed the memorial was closer to me than to Hornchurch.

    I wonder if it's an example of a Fly Tipper with a conscience? Presumably, the metal would have some value in today's world. But they din't melt it down, like the recent spate of thefts that have been happening in the last few years.

    I'll drop a mail to the Essex branch of the Western Front Association and see if they have any luck.

    All the best
     
  9. Groundhugger

    Groundhugger Senior Member

    There was theft of war memorial plaques in 2008in North Manchester , thou this isn't one of them , they were replaced at a cost of £10.000 , the theft of these plaques will obviously increase as the personal community link to them gets lost in the passage of time , unfortunately .
    on the slightly brighter side the Metal recyclers wouldn't touch them with a barge pole , so they'll just be dumped !
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Groundhugger,
    I remember reading about that - also appeared on the TV news I think. Also remember seeing those photos in I think the Mail.
    Glad to hear the recyclers wouldn't touch them, perhaps that is why this one seems to have survived.

    Cheers,

    Mike
     
  11. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    A possible name from Geoff's Search Engine. Edmonton is not so far from the other place names.

    Name:GURNEY, GEORGE E. T.
    Initials:G E T
    Nationality:United Kingdom
    Rank:Private
    Regiment/Service:Bedfordshire Regiment
    Unit Text:4th Bn.
    Age:19
    Date of Death:15/04/1917
    Service No:20975
    Additional information: Son of George and Margaret Ellen Gurney, of 98, Fore St., Edmonton, London.
    Casualty Type:Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference:Bay 5.
    Memorial:ARRAS MEMORIAL
     
  12. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    There is a Walter Harold Brickett in the Royal Navy records F7087, born Waristead - must be transcript error for Wanstead. No trace of him in CWGC, perhaps a non-comm, or died after the cut-off date.

    The search engine is not proving to be much use on this lot!
     
  13. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    The only Charles Bird I could find in the area:

    Name:BIRD, CHARLES EDWARD
    Initials:C E
    Nationality:United Kingdom
    Rank:Rifleman
    Regiment/Service:London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles)
    Unit Text:1st/9th Bn.
    Age:20
    Date of Death:25/09/1916
    Service No:5682
    Additional information: Son of the late Walter Bird and of E. L. Bird (Stepmother), of 19, Aberdeen Road, Upper Edmonton, London.
    Casualty Type:Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference:Pier and Face 9 C.
    Memorial:THIEPVAL MEMORIAL
     
  14. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Geoff, couple of possibles there, thanks.

    I decided to go through the CWGC lists starting with Charles Bird (will do the same for all the unknowns in due course) and came up with this:

    CWGC WW1 listings for: Bird, C.
    57 listings: starting with Charles and trying to narrow down by Regt/address.
    1. Bird, Charles. Bedfordshire Regt. No address.
    2. Bird, Charles. Lt, Royal Field Artillery. Shoeburyness, Essex.
    3. Bird, Charles. Suffolk Regt. Mile End, London.
    4. Bird, C. Royal Horse Artillery. No address.
    5. Bird, C. D. London Regt, Prince of Wales Own Civil Service Rifles. Stoke Newington, London.
    6. Bird, Charles Edward. London Regt (Queen Victoria’s Rifles). Upper Edmonton, London.
    7. Bird, Charles Edwin. 2nd Lt The Essex Regt. NOK address India.
    8. Bird, Charles Henry. The Rifle Brigade. Bromley, Bow, London.
    9. Bird, Charles James. London Regt, Prince of Wales Own Civil Service Rifles. Hammersmith, London.
    10. Bird, Charles Josiah. Duke Of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Camberwell, London.
    11. Bird, Charles William. Royal Engineers. Waltham Abbey, Essex.
    12. Bird, Charles William. Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regt.) Kilburn, London.
    13. Bird, C. W. Mercantile Marine Reserve. No address but buried Manor Park, London.


    Now if I were a betting man..... but I'm not so I will just say No.11 looks a strong possibility? Waltham Abbey.

    Can anyone check this out?

    Mike
     
  15. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    Now if I were a betting man..... but I'm not so I will just say No.11 looks a strong possibility? Waltham Abbey.

    Can anyone check this out?

    Mike

    A bit further north than the dead certs init?
     
  16. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    Also No 7, it is after all, in Essex ;)

    No 6 could be, as it's another Edmonton. Another from Bow and Mile End there, one from Stokey and also another Clerk perhaps (No 9)?
     
  17. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    Also No 7, it is after all, in Essex ;)



    I know Essex is a fantastic place, but did not know it included India ?

    Seriously, someone from almost anywhere could be in the Essex Regiment, if a conscript.
     
  18. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Yep, I know, just trying to narrow it down a bit.
    3,5,6,8 and 13 also look possibles.
    Any ideas on how to chase these further? perhaps ask GWF or WFA?
     
  19. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    Yep, I know, just trying to narrow it down a bit.
    3,5,6,8 and 13 also look possibles.
    Any ideas on how to chase these further? perhaps ask GWF or WFA?
    Think its moved on since GWF looked at it, I'm sure they will respond again. WFA are probably all asleep :unsure:
    Could try for a service record, might help pin one man down. I'll probably go with the idea it is a works memorial, too far spread to be community affair.

    Anyone got 3.50 to spare to check Walter Brickett's record? (Might be a non-com, and may have some info on previous life). Spent all my beer money on the search engine:unsure:
     
  20. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Regarding the inscription on the plaque:
    THESE DIED IN WAR THAT WE AT PEACE MIGHT LIVE
    THESE GAVE THEIR BEST. SO WE OUR BEST MUST GIVE


    The word 'scouting' popped up earlier ("I promise to do my best..." etc.) so could it be from a Scout HQ? If it's not that, it certainly sounds like a worthy sentiment in a school. It sounds a bit cheesy for a workplace, particularly as a factory or office could have had plenty of veterans in it at the time the plaque was dedicated.
     

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