Dymchurch War Memorial

To the Glory of God and in Memory of the Men of
Dymchurch and Eastbridge
who gave their lives in the Great Wars for Right and Freedom
Ernest Austen Ernest served as a 2nd Lieut in the Household Cavalry or the Kings Hussars and possibly died on 25 August 1918 aged 46, being remembered on the Delhi 1914 - 1918 War Memorial. He was awarded the DCM
Charles Vince Balkwill Charles was born 1886, in Lewisham, the son of Francis and Mary Balkwill. Francis worked as a Foreign ? Fruit Seller. Charles served as a 2nd Lieut in the London Regt., and was KIA on 1 July 1916, the first Day of the First Battle of the Somme, when so many, many young men were KIA. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing
John Balkwill John was the elder brother to Charles, being born in 1883. In the 1901 census the family were living in Forest Hill, London. John also served as a 2nd Lieut, but this time in the Royal Warwickshire Regt. John, tragically for his parents and siblings also died on 1st July 1916 aged 33 and rests in Pargny British Cemetery, approx 15km south of Peronne along with over 140 other identified casualties and over 400 whose name is known only unto Their God
Walter Sterndale Bennett D.S.O Walter was the son of James Robert Sterndale-Bennett, a Headmaster, and his wife Mabel Agne Gaskell, being born in July 1893 in Derby, and the grandson of Sir Walter Sterndale-Bennet, the famous composer. Walter served in the Royal Navy - had seen action in Gallipoli. He was, on 26th January 1917, promoted to Temp. Lieut. 'For conspicuous gallatry in action.' Quickly promoted to Commander and awarded the DSO and Bar. Serving as Commander of Drake Btn., he comissioned a replica of 'Drakes Drum' used by Capt Drake during the time of the Spanish Armada to 'rally his sailors' Walter was wounded on 4 November 1917 and died of wounds 3 days later. He rests in Dozinghem Military Cemetery.
Walter was the youngest officer to hold the rank of Commander.
His commissioned drum was presented to HMS Drake in mid 1900's by his family.

Charles Louis Beale Charles Louis or Lewis as he is found on some sources, was born in 1895, the son of Seman and Betsy Beal of Dymchurch. In 1901 the family were living at Poplar Cottage, East Bridge where Seaman was a waggoner on a local farm - the father of 7 children, by 1919 there were 10. Charles enlisted in Ashford, joining the Buffs and becoming Cpl. L/9902. He died of wounds on 20 July 1915 aged 20 and rests in Lijssentheok Military Cemetery along with over 10,000 men and 1 woman - Nelly Spindler. Charle's service records tell us he was only 18 years and 4 months when he enlisted, working as a farm labourer, 5' 7¼" in height, weighing 126 lbs and a 36" fully expanded chest. He had a fresh complection, brown hair and eyes and a mole on the back of his left shoulder. There is a note that his pulse was 72. In June of 1914 he was appointed un-paid Lance Corporal and the next month awarded the rank with pay. In March the following year he was promoted to Corporal and died of wounds as we know in July of '15. In November of 1915 Mrs Beale receives articles belonging to her son - including :- 1 belt ; 1 pipe; 2 handkerchiefs ; 1 pocket book ; 1 pipe lighter.
On July 28 1919, Seaman writes to the MOD stating he is the husband of Mrs Betsy Beale and father of Charles. He informs of his wifes death and her verbal wish that all items belonging to Charles should be passed on to Seaman. And so, on 16th of July 192, after furnishing the Record Office with proof of his wife's death, the signature of Seaman Beale Snr can be found on a receipt for medals awarded to Cpl Ch Beale and memorial scroll and plaque.
Simeon Beale Simeon, was elder brother of Charles and born in 1884. He served as Pte L/6554 in the Buffs after enlisting in Lydd. He died of wounds on 25 October 1914 and rests in Laventie Military Cemetery, La Gorgue.
Simeon was 30 years old on his service papers, 5' 6½" tall with brown complection, grey eyes and brown hair and a 39 " chest. The size of his helmt was 22½ and his boots were a size 9. He had 4 vaccination marks and a mole on the LHS of his chest. His records state his wife was Hilda Elizabeth Beale of Ubbolds ? Court Cottages, Burmarsh, he had children, Gladys Louise, Albert Simeon, Doris Emeline and John Kitchener Dorrin ?, but his wife was only asked to produce 3 birth certificates as evidence. A letter from Mrs Beale also adds more confusion to this issue.
Simeon seems to have been recorded on the Regimental Conduct Sheet for on more than one occasion being not where he should be, without permission and on one occasion was drunk in Biggin St at about 8pm being seen by LC Collins, LC McLaren, MP and Sgt Gilmore, R Sus R. For this he was given 8 days CB
Alfred Edgar Hoper Alfred was born in 1888 in Dymchurch, the son of Richard and Mary who in 1901 lived at Rock Cottages, Dymchurch where Richard worked as a labourer and gardener to feed his 9 children. Alfred served as Pte 12419 in the RFA, later transferring to become 5454 in the Prince of Wales's Leinsters. He was KIA on 12 Apr 1917 and is remembered on the Arras Memorial.
Arthur Hoper Arthur, was born in 1893, brother and son to the above family. He served as Pte S/9594 in the Buffs and was KIA on 3 May 1915 aged 22. He is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial.
The service record for Arthur states he was 17 years 10 months when he attested. He had previously been rejected for being under weight. He was infact 5' 5" tall, weighing 114 lbs and a fully expanded girth of 33½". He had blue eyes ahd light brown hair. The Rev. H L Bolders of The Rectory, Dymchurch, was asked by The Recruiting Officer to vouch for the character of Arthur. He told that he had known Arthur about 3 years, was of good and sober character, a batchelor but he could not remember when he was saw him to speak to
Herbert James Kemp Herbert was the son of Charles and Emily of Dymchurch. He served in the Royal West Surrey Regt., as Pte G/4615 and was KIA on 25 September 1915 aged 26. He is remembered on the Loos Memorial
Thomas William Underhill Thomas was born in 1896, the son of Herbert George an Edith Mary. He attended Rugby School followed by Birmingham University. He enlisted aged 17 into the Royal Sussex Regt., being promoted to L/ Cpl,. He was Commissioned as 2nd Lieut into the East Kent Regt.,. His records state he was wounded in 1915 and KIA on 19 August 1916 aged only 19 years old. He rests in Bray Military Cemetery.
1939 - 1945
Alfred Austen Alfred of 1 Grove Terrace, Dymchurch was the husband of Ada, below.
Ada Emma Austen Ada, was the wife of Alfred Austen, above, and was a member of the W.V.S. She is among the many Civilian War Dead and died aged 47 on 24 August 1940. She rests in Romney Marsh Cemetery with her husband.
James Sterndale Bennett M.C. James Berry (Bury) Sterndale-Bennett, the brother of Walter served as a 2nd Lieut in WW2 in The Buffs. He was awarded the M.C. and died on 14 March 1941 aged 51 and is remembered in Golders Green Crematorium. He left a wife, Athene nee Seyler, whom he married in 1914 in Brentford Registration District
John Coombes Possibly - John James Coombes who was the son of Thomas Bishop Coombes and his wife Elizabeth of Faversham, Kent. John served in The Buffs as Pte 6287319 and died between the 31 May 1940 and 2 June 1940 aged 20. He is remembered with many from that time on the Dunkirk Memorial
Robert Fagg Robert was born in 1920, the son of Mr & Mrs R Fagg of Dymchurch. He served as Stoker 1st Class C/KX97611 on HMS Liverpool. He died on 9 January 1941 and is remembered in Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery.
Eric Newman  
James Nunn Possibly, James Alfred Nunn, the son of James Thomas Nunn and his wife Elizabeth Isabella and also husband of Grace Annie. He served as Lieut 186974 in the Royal Fusiliers. He died on 19 April 1944 and rests in Imphan War Cemetery.
Percy Hoper Whitehead Perc was the son of Charles Hoper Whitehead and his wife Hannah Nellie Tree nee Ford. Percy served as Gunner 835697 in the RA and died on 17 June 1940 aged 26. He rests in Denneville Churchyard.
Charles Joseph Church Charles was the son of Joseph Henry and Elizabeth of Blackheath, London and husband of Patricia. Charles served as Sergeant (Air Gunner) 1355162 in the RAFVR. He died on 11 June 1943 aged 23 and rests in Enfidaville War Cemetery, Tunisia along with over 1400 identified casualties and 88 who are known only unto Their God


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