war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

WWI - At Rest in United Kingdom (L to N)

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+HUNTER, THOMAS, Screen Wall, D3173, died 30 May 1919


KEEN, Cadet, THOMAS LLEWELLYN, 210, M C, Australian Flying Corps. Died of accidental injuries 12 March 1919. Age 28. Son of Thomas Benion Keen and Mary E Keen of 57 Heathfield Avenue, Dover. no ref (23),

Thomas was born in Canterbury in 1890, and the following year was living with his parents at Grove Cottages, Black Griffin Lane, Canterbury. He was the third child, preceded by William, then 2, and Catherine, then 4. Their father was a clerk in the military staff, born in Walsall, and their mother had been born in Ireland, as were William and Catherine. By 1901 Mrs Keen was living at 2 Litten Terrace in Chichester, Sussex, and had been joined by four further children, Nellie, 9, Frank, 6, Gladys, 5, and Dorothy, 3. Gladys and Dorothy had been born in Chichester.

On 12 February 1910 Thomas left from Liverpool on the White Star Line SS Persic, bound for Sydney, Australia. Meanwhile his mother and the three youngest daughters moved to 57 Heathfield Avenue, Dover, while Mr Keen was at 7 Glamorgan Street, Pimlico, and working in the Army Pay Corps.

Thomas enlisted at Liverpool, New South Wales, on 30 October 1914 for the duration of the War. He was then a Station Overseer, 5 feet 8½ inches tall and eleven stone, and with fair hair and blue eyes. He became number 210 in the 7th Light Horse Regiment. He embarked as a Private from Sydney on 20 December 1914, sailing on HMAT Ayrshire. In November 1915 a report stated that SSM Keen, from the time of landing on the (Gallipoli) Peninsula until that date, had been recommended for general devotion to detail for several weeks prior to evacuation to hospital. He had, though very sick, continued to carry out his duties in an excellent manner.

Thomas unfortunately had several bouts of illness while serving, including becoming dangerously ill with an undiagnosed fever in October 1915. He was able to continue his service, however, and on 16 April 1918 was recommended for a Military Cross. The recommendation stated that "This Warrant Officer on 28 March showed great gallantry in passing communications between the squadrons, thus enabling the regiment to withdraw from a very critical position without confusion. To do this he had to expose himself to exceptionally heavy rifle and machine gun fire and it was owing to his gallantry in taking and sending messages that the regiment was kept together. His whole conduct was most gallant."

While a good serviceman, Thomas also had moments of high spirits; on one occasion he was charged with bringing the service into disrepute after incidents an inebriated argument with a waiter from the restaurant car on a train. He pleaded not guilty, and was found so.

Thomas also served in Egypt. He survived the Great War but as a cadet in the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) at Leighterton, Gloucestershire, was killed in an aeroplane accident. He had dived through dense mist to find his location and crashed into the trunk of a fallen tree near Miserden Park, near Sheepscombe, Gloucestershire.

Thomas was given a full military funeral with a firing party and a bugler. The elm coffin, with brass fittings, was draped with the Australian flag. There were many wreaths, including those from his family, from the AFC and the AFC Hospital, and from the Light Horse Regiment. An oak cross was to be erected on his grave; at the foot of his headstone now are the words "I will arise".

Thomas died just three days before flying training was stopped. On 6 May the AFC left Southampton, returning to Australia. Thomas' possessions were all left to his mother in Dover.


THOMPSON, Second Lieutenant, JOHN WYCLIFFE, 7th Dragoon Guards (Princess Royal's), 5 July 1918. Age 42. Buried East of church. Memorial

LOUTH CEMETERY, Lincolnshire

BALDING, Corporal, F, 10207, Army Pay Corps. formerly (14220) 24th Bn. Manchester Regiment 13 July 1918. Age 25. Husband of Evelyn Beatrice Balding of 8 The Avenue, Kearsney, Dover. 27 71


READ, Frederick James, J 22290, born 19 December 1895 at River, Dover, Able Seaman, Royal Navy, died 18 December 1917, serving with HMS Osiris,  mother Minnie Read notified at West Rype, Lydd, Kent. He was the son of James Read, a general labourer, and Minnie, his wife, who was born in Dover. In 1901 the family were living at 22 Queens Gardens, Dover. Children then were Louis, 6, born in London, Frederick, 6, and, all born in Dover, Harry, 3, twins Walter, and Arthur, both 1, and Edith, 5 months. Buried in the middle of the cemetery.


AUSTIN, ALBERT EDWARD, Leading Seaman, J/5810(PO), Royal Navy, HMS Hampshire, died 5 June 1916, grave  F. 92. Born Dover 11 August 1893, married Lilian Abigail Gray at Croydon on 20 January 1916.

From the television programme "War at Sea: Scotland's Story", broadcast by the BBC, came the following information:

HMS Hampshire ran into mines laid by U75, one or possibly two chained together. The ship suffered two or three explosions and sank within 15 minutes. Three liferafts escaped with nearly 200 young and fit sailors on them. They mainly died from exposure even though some did get to the beach. The Stromness lifeboat was manned and ready to go but the navy refused permission, as they would intended to find survivors themselves. They sent out four destroyers, an armed yacht, and a trawler, but no men were picked up from the sea the rafts had been driven down the coast. Two young sailors managed to get to a beach and then to a farmhouse. The occupants took in the sailors and fed and warmed them and put them to bed. Meanwhile, the householder roused neighbours; they took ropes and went to the cliffs where, by clambering down the ropes, the householder managed to bring up three more sailors. They were then ordered to stop doing this for reasons that are not clear. There were many dead bodies swept onto the beach; they were loaded into lorries and removed. From a crew of nearly 700 only 12 sailors survived.


HOWARTH, Captain, ALFRED DORAN, 2nd/4th Bn, Lancashire Fusiliers. Died of sickness 26 March 1918. Age 43. Son of William and Elizabeth Howarth of Manchester; husband of Sarah A. Howarth of St. Andrew's Terrace, Crabble, Dover. Crematorium Panel


BRISLEY, Air Mechanic 1st Class, WALTER, 106436, RAF formerly 2nd Bn. The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) 24 May 1919. Age 40. Son of the late Daniel Brisley of Dover. 11301

(in the Royal Victoria Park, entrance in Victoria Road. Drive to the visitors' centre; the cemetery is a 20-minute walk from there along the old railway track.  Sapper Hamilton's and Frederick Smith's graves are in the upper level)

(p)$HAMILTON, Sapper, JOHN W, Royal Engineers, 17 May 1915. C E 1687

(p)HEWLETT, Private, J H, TF/2010, 4th Bn, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) 4 April 1915. Age 22. Son of Henry and Louisa Hewlett of St. Margarets at Cliffe, Dover. R C 839

Private Hewlett's grave is in the foreground on the right in the wide picture. Pictures by Andy and Michelle Cooper

(p)SMITH, Frederick George Berry, died 19 February 1929. His grave is to the far left after entering the upper level, just past the cross of sacrifice


CHAPMAN, Arthur, 3749, Squadron Quartermaster-Sergeant, Army Ordnance Corps, no 6 Company, died aged 40 on 10 September 1914.  He was the eldest son of Mr Walter, in 1911 a "bricklayer general", and Mrs Louisa Chapman of 38 Russell Street, Norwich, married in 1873, and the husband of Patience Eleanor Chapman, of Lawn House, Carrow Road, Norwich, married in 1903.

He had been stationed at Dover for three and a half years, and in 1911 he was staying with his brother-in-law William Hurley, at 18 Tower Hamlets Road, Dover. Also there were his wife and son and his wife's sister, Mr Hurley's wife Leah. The Hurleys were in 1901 living at Victoria Street, Buckland, while Mrs Chapman, née Forster, had been a house parlour maid at Highland Gardens, St Leonard's, Hastings. In 1914 the Chapmans had been living at 24 Clarendon Place.

When war broke out he was ordered to London and thence to Bisley. He became ill and despite treatment at King's College Hospital, died. He had seen twenty years service, ten abroad. Four and a half years he had spent in Egypt and three and a half in South Africa, taking part in the siege of Ladysmith. He received several medals for his service, including a King George's medal for long service and good conduct.

His coffin was carried on a gun carriage to the cemetery. He left two children as well as his widow; his son, Arthur William Chapman, was enabled by a bursary to attend the Royal Masonic Institution for his schooling. His father had been a member of Military Jubilee Lodge no 2195 in Dover. Grave 26.308

Arthur Chapman's grave is in the centre of the three graves in the foreground. The memorial behind is to 102 soldiers who died at Norwich Barracks; the dates range from 1875 to 1917. (set 2921)

For much further information see this Flickr account

, Kent

AVERY, Chief Mechanic, ALFRED, 2545, No 6 Stores Depot No 6 Sqdn RAF 31 October 1918. Age 24. Son of William and Rhoda Avery of Park Cottage, Nonington, Dover. no ref

from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission


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