Monday, August 25, 2014

World War One: the first local deaths

Thousands of people from the Lewisham area were killed in the First World War. If you want to get an idea of the sheer scale of the devastation have a look at the Commonwealth Graves Commission site. It includes a fairly comprehensive list of casualties from both world wars and on their 'Find War Dead' page you can search under name or put in the name of a place or street under 'additional information'. If you live in a road that's more than a 100 years old you are fairly guaranteed to find out that someone who once lived nearby to your home died (many of the CWGC records include details of next of kin, with address listed).

Although Britain officially entered the war on 4 August 1914, the first encounter between British and German forces did not take place until the Battle of Mons in Belgium on 23rd August 1914.  And on that first day of fighting one hundred years ago at least four people with local family connections were killed:

- Richard King (aged 35), Royal Scots Fusiliers - the brother of Mrs. A. Gallon, 10 Hales St, Deptford.

- J A Sharpe (aged 36), East Surrey Regiment - husband of Elizabeth Ward (Formerly Sharpe), of 1 Royal Naval Place, Amersham Vale, New Cross

-  Albert  Edward Burstow (20),  Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), son of Mr. And Mrs. E. R. Burstow, of 3, Hanlon St., Grove St., Deptford.

Deptford-born Burstow was a ‘Rivet Carrier’ by trade and enlisted
into the Army on the 28th January 1913 at New Cross.
He was killed in the village of Tertr (source).

- A. Rogers (26), Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), son of George And Sarah Ann Rogers, of Lewisham; Husband Of Margaret Rogers, of 89, Hazlebury Rd., Fulham.

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