Hilton War Memorial
Gillian Sheail has been researching the people who are commemorated on the War memorial situated in the lych gate.
Please find below and in the PDF document (War Memorial) information about the fifteen brave villagers who gave their lives in the two World Wars.
“We will remember them”
HILTON WAR MEMORIAL
The lych gate at the entrance to Hilton Churchyard was erected in 1920 as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the Great War. It was paid for by public subscription which raised £135 . The lych gate bears a plaque with the inscription:
This lych gate is erected by public subscriptions in memory of the men fallen in the Great War. 1914-1919
Below there is a list of names (initial[s] and surname) of eleven persons who lost their lives in the First World War.
On the opposite side of the gate, a further tablet was added after the Second World War with the inscription:
This tablet is erected by public subscription in memory of those who gave their lives in the 2nd World War 1939-1945
Below this is inscribed the names (forename and surname) of those who lost their lives in this conflict – three in total.
The War Memorial is listed in the United Kingdom National Inventory of War Memorials with reference number 274. This describes the gates as made of oak while the rest of the structure is made of concrete.
There is also a War Graves Commission Grave in the churchyard of another person who was killed in the First World War, but he is not listed on the memorial.
At the annual Remembrance Day Service, as the congregation gathers round the lych gate, the names of the departed, as inscribed on the memorial, are read out, and the refrain “We will remember them” sounds through the otherwise silent group. We remember their deeds with humility and gratitude, but how little we know of them as people. This is an attempt to fill in some of the gaps, and perhaps offer a greater insight
into the range of people from our village community who died for their country.
Servicemen of the First World War
The names are listed in the same order as on the Memorial
Cecil Hubert Wright-Ingle was born in the registration district of Barnet, Middlesex in 1883, the son of Mr and Mrs G.W. Wright-Ingle. The 1891 census lists the family as living in The Woodhouse, Woodhouse Road, Finchley, but by 1901 Cecil was a 17 year old student at Malvern College, a boarder, living at 2 College Ground, Great Malvern. The family home was still in Finchley. By 1911 the family had moved to Linkwood, Compton Place Road, Eastbourne, Sussex, and Cecil was listed in the census as a 27 year old barrister. He had studied at Cambridge and gained his degree there.
On 3rd September 1914 Cecil enlisted into the 19th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, giving his occupation as a barrister at law. He was appointed Lance-Corporal in May 1915 and was commissioned in July 1915. Aged 32, he was killed in action in France on 30th April,1916, while serving with the 2nd Battalion Leinster Regiment. He was buried at Ration Farm (La Plus Douve) Annexe, Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
George Wright Wright-Ingle, the father of Cecil, held the lordship of the Manor of Fenstanton and Hilton from 1908 until his death in1936. This is probably the reason for the inclusion of Cecil’s name on the War memorial, as it is unclear whether he lived in the parish.
Leonard Ernest Beck was born in Hilton, the son of John and Jane Beck of Potton Road. At the time of the 1911 census he was the youngest child of a large family, and at the age of 14 his occupation was given as ‘boy on farm’.
He enlisted in Huntingdon and was a Private in the Bedfordshire Regiment. He was killed in action on 28th November 1915, aged 18, and was buried in Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy, France.
Percival George Harradine, known as Percy, was born in Hilton, the son of David and Mary Ann Harradine, of The Grove. In the 1911 census he was described as a farm labourer. He enlisted in Huntingdon and was assigned to the Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion. Later he became a Lance Corporal of the 36th Company Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), and was killed in action on 7th October 1916, aged 23. He is commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
Harry Jennings was born in Haslingfield, the son of William and Sarah Jennings. He and his wife, Ellen Louisa Jessie lived in Potton Road Hilton, and he was a farm labourer. He enlisted in Cambridge and was a
Private in the Suffolk Regiment. He was killed in action on 26th August 1917 when he was 34 years old. He is commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
Lenham Yates was the son of William and Mary Blythe Yates. His occupation was given as a farm labourer in the census of 1911, when the family lived in Potton Road. However the service records indicate that his parents then lived at the Old Post Office in Hilton. Lenham, who was born in Kent, was a Stoker !st Class on board ‘H.M.S. Aboukir’ when the ship was lost on 22nd September 1914. He was 21 years old. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent.
Bertram Carnac Yates was the son of William and Mary Blythe Yates, and an elder brother of Lenham. He too was a farm labourer who enlisted in Peterborough and was a Private in the 2nd Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment. He was killed in action on 14th March 1915, and is commemorated on Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. He was 26 years old when he died.
Frank William Hurst was born in Hilton, the son of George and Anne Hurst of Potton Road. George was a carpenter, and in the 1901 census, his son, Frank was still living at home and was also listed as a carpenter, probably working with his father. However by 1911 Frank was living with the White family on The Green in Hilton, and his occupation was given as ‘Labourer on farm’. He enlisted in St Ives, and was a Sapper with 156th Field Company, Corps of Royal Engineers. He was 45 years of age when he was killed in action on 9th September 1916. He is commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
James Roslyn, the son of George and Julia Roslyn, was born in Buckworth, Huntingdonshire. In 1911 he was a farm labourer, living with his parents and elder brother at 1, New England. He enlisted in
Huntingdon and was a Private in 23rd Battalion London Regiment. He was killed in action on 12th May 1917, aged 30. His grave is in Chester Farm Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
Ernest James Cook was born in Hilton, son of James and Charlotte Cook of The Grove. When the 1911 census was taken he was still at school. He enlisted in Huntingdon and was a Private in the 9th Battalion
East Surrey Regiment. Aged 19, he was killed on 13th June 1917 and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
Noel Beaumont Souper was the son of Rev Francis A. Souper, Vicar of Hilton, and his wife Fanny Emmeline. He was also the brother of Oriana who married the Antarctic explorer Dr Edward Wilson (who accompanied Scott on his ill-fated journey to the South Pole). Noel was born in Eastbourne, where his father was then a school master and clerk in holy orders. In 1901 he was living with his parents in The Vicarage in Hilton and he was an undergraduate at Pembroke College, Cambridge University. He married and lived with his wife Rosalie at Fitz James Avenue, London W14.
During the war he was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 6th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment and he was killed in action on 1st July 1916, aged 40. He is commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. By that time his father was living at Grantchester Meadows, Cambridge.
John Ellwood was born in Fenstanton, the son of Joseph and Harriet Maria Ellwood of Hilton End Farm. In 1911 he was described as ‘labourer on farm’. He enlisted in Huntingdon and was a Private in the Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion, before being transferred to the !st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment. He was killed in action on 27th December 1918 and is commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. He was then 28. By the time of his death his father had passed away, and his widowed mother was living at Tithe Cottage, Hilton.
Buried in the churchyard with a WGC headstone
Sidney Jones was born in Nottingham. He was an Able Seaman on ‘H.M.S. Vivid’ and he died of illness on 6th September 1919, aged 27. He was buried in Hilton churchyard and his grave has a War Graves Commission headstone, but he is not named on the War Memorial.
Servicemen and woman of the Second World War
Betty Britten was born in1919, the daughter of Jane Britten of Hilton. She was brought up in the Britten family home at Park Farm. Betty was employed as a clerk by Mr Keith Wright of Fenstanton, before she joined the WRNS in November 1941. She volunteered for foreign service and was drafted to North Africa, and, while on the voyage out, her ship was torpedoed. She served a year in Algiers and was then sent home through ill-health. She was discharged in February1944. Betty Britten died at Papworth on May 4th 1945, aged 26, and was buried in the churchyard at Hilton. While her name as registered at her birth was Betty Britten, the forename used in her service records and her death registration was Elizabeth.
Reginald A. Martin was born in 1917, the son of Charles Henry and Florence Annie Martin of Potton Road, Hilton. When he was called-up , Reginald was married to Florence Ruth (nee Watts), and they lived in Hemingford Grey. A Private in the Suffolk Regiment, he died on 4th June 1943 and is commemorated in the Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery in Myanmar (Burma)
Leslie Martin, known as Les, was the son of Charles Henry and Florence Annie Martin of Potton Road, Hilton, and the elder brother of Reginald. Born in 1914, his given name, as registered at his birth, was Charles P. L. Martin. He was an Acting Able Seaman in the Navy. He was serving on ‘President Iii’ (S. S. Winterswijk), which was a Dutch cargo streamer, when it was torpedoed on 19th September 1941, and he was declared ‘missing, presumed drowned’. The ship was on route from Tampa to Methil in convoy SC42, carrying a cargo of 4,278 tons of phosphates when it was attacked by a German submarine U-432 and sunk The wreck is situated off the southeast coast of Greenland.
Birth, Marriage and Death indexes for England and Wales, and census data from www.findmypast.co.uk
Commonwealth War Graves Commission for details of war casualties and cemeteries at www.cwgc.org
Accounts of naval matters from www.naval-history.org
United Kingdom National Inventory of War Memorials website at www.ukniwm.org.uk
The Hunts Post (available at Huntingdon Library and Archives)
Thanks to Mrs Norma Furniss for her help.
Gillian M. Sheail, Hilton, October 2012.