war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War I



Surnames B (part 2 of 3)
(Surnames B (part 1 of 3, B to Bed) are here, Surnames B (part 3 of 3, Brad to end) are here)

E A Beer, with thanks to Bill BeerBeer, E. A.
Edward Albert Beer was the elder son of Mr and Mrs E Beer, of 14 Avenue Road, Dover, formerly 80 Biggin Street, and the husband of Mrs Beer from Toowoomba in Australia. He also left a young child. He was EA Beer, courtesy Dover Expressserving in the 298th Siege Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery, and was 30 when he was killed in action on 22nd September 1917.  He had served since the beginning of the war, and received his commission as second lieutenant while serving in a siege battery in France. The officer commanding his battery wrote, "I very much regret to have to tell you that your son 2nd Lt E A Beer was killed in action on 22nd September. He owed his death to an act of great gallantry and self sacrifice as, when he was at the OP and safely under cover in the dug-out, he went out under heavy shell fire to bring in an infantry officer who was wounded, and whilst outside with the officer, another shell dropped and killed both instantaneously. He was brought down to the Battery position that night, and was buried next morning; the Wesleyan chaplain performing the ceremony. Although he had only been commissioned such a short time he was a most valuable officer and it is a great loss to us; all the officers sympathise most deeply with you in your great loss."

His mother and father, in the announcement of his death, knowing he had tried to save another, quoted "Greater love hath no man than this". Edward is buried in the Voormezelle enclosures, Belgium.

with thanks to Bill Beer

W T Beer, with thanks to Bill BeerBeer, W. T.
William Thomas Beer, 149905, was in the 1/3 Kent RGA (T), and became a Gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was born at Ann's Terrace, Poplar (Cubitt Town, Middlesex, according to "Soldiers Died"), and enlisted in Dover. He was first cousin to Edward, above.

He was killed by a shell late on 22 December 1917, and was buried the next day at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Belgium 

with thanks to Bill Beer




photo of gravestone by Jean Marsh

A L Beerling, courtesy Dover Express Beerling, A. L.
Arthur Lewell Beerling, L/8018, was born in Dover and lived and enlisted there. He was a Private in the 1st battalion of The Buffs, and died at the beginning of the war on 18 October 1914. He is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium.

His mother was the former Charlotte Stokes from Barfrestone. On 13 May 1861 she married George Henry Cocks at St Mary's, Nonington. The couple had a daughter, Annie Stokes Cocks, born in 1864. Sadly her father had already died that year at the age of 26, being buried at Barfrestone on 10th August.

Mrs Cocks remarried on 29 August 1868 at Nonington to Charles Barling (Burling or Beerling), a miller. The couple had four sons; Frederick Charles, Percy, Ernest Henry, and Cecil John by 1881, when they had moved to Princes Street, Dover. Charlotte was then a housekeeper. Unfortunately she was widowed again in 1888, and by 1891 at 9 Princes Street, she was left with two more children, Arthur and Mabel Rose. However, she was living on her own means and Frederick was working as a clothier's assistant while Ernest was a Barber's Apprentice. Arthur was attending St Mary's school. In 1901, still at home, both Ernest and Arthur were hairdressers.

By 1911 Charlotte was living alone at 5 Princes Street. Arthur had enlisted and was serving in Singapore in the 2nd battalion of The Buffs, occupied as a shoemaker.

Mrs Beerling died in 1933, at the age of 91.

Notes: Arthur may in 1914, have married Ethel Phoebe Green in the Dover area - but may have used the name Arthur L Wilson (Kent registration). His birth appears to have been registered as Arthur Lewell Wilson in 1883. There is a note that the effects of Arthur Beerling alias Wilson were given to his widow Ethel P. Wilson.

R Beeston, gravestone, by Simon Chambers

Beeston, R. C.
R Beeston house, by Simon ChambersReginald Clifford Beeston, 125197, was born at Buckland, Dover on 22 September 1902. He was baptised at St Barnabas, a church destroyed in World War II, on 12 October 1902.

Reginald's father died on 17 June 1909; he had served in the Royal Garrison Artillery. In 1911 Reginald was living at 4 Millais Road with his widowed mother, and Cyril, one of his brothers, who was working as an apprentice trimmer at a motor works, and his little sister, Winnie, aged 4. (Leslie was at the Duke of York's RM School.) Boarding with them was Ernest James Rumens, a widower and a carpenter at the Admiralty Works; the following year Mrs Beeston and Mr Rumens married. They probably had a son, Ernest, in 1913.

In 1913, Reginald went to the Duke of York's Royal Military School, and then enlisted in Warley, Essex. Serving as a Trumpeter, he was in A battery in the 13th Fire Command of the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was just 16 when he died at Shoeburyness Camp on 9 November 1918, two days before the Armistice. 

 Reginald now lies in Buckland Cemetery, Dover, grave D2300.   At the bottom of his headstone is inscribed "Thy Will be Done". 


Belcher, J.
James Belcher, 66406, rests at the Communal Cemetery Extension, Aix-Noulette, France, in grave 1E. He was 35 when he was killed in action on 10th April 1917, while serving as a Sergeant for C battery in the 107th brigade of the Royal Field Artillery. 

Born at Dover (or Stratford, Essex, according to Soldiers Died) to Fredrick and Harriet Belcher, He lived at Plaistow. In 1905 he married Hilda, nee Pierce, who, in 1924, was living at 1 Edgar Crescent, Buckland, Dover.  He was brother-in-law to Samuel and Alfred Pierce. He was awarded the Military Medal.

Bellfield, W. H. F.
Walter Henry Francis Bellfield, L/7474, was commemorated on the memorial at Christchurch, Folkestone Road, now demolished. Enlisting at Shorncliffe, he served as a Private in the 1st battalion Queen's Own (Royal West Kents) and died from gas wounds on 17th August 1915. He was 25. He is buried at Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road cemetery) in the United Kingdom,  A1169

He was born in Hoxton, Middlesex, and later lived at Dover. His parents were Walter Henry and Minnie Bellfield, from 60 Folkestone Road.

Belsey, A. I.
Alfred Isaac Belsey, S/10443, was born in St Mary's parish and christened there on 20 December 1895 from 43 Adrian Street. In 1911 he was a skate rink boy and was then A Belsey, courtesy Dover Expressworking as a news vendor when he enlisted in Dover on 6 February 1913, aged 17, into the 2nd battalion of the Buffs, having previously applied as a boy to the Navy, without success.

He was serving as a Private and went out with the British Expeditionary Force to France on 2 June 1915. He then went to headstone at Lahana Cemetery, by Charles FairSalonika on 23 October 1916 and was 19 when he died there from malaria on 27 July 1916.  Mrs Belsey received her "dear son's" effects on 11 November. He is buried in Greece, in Lahana Military Cemetery, and hiis headstone (left) bears the words "Never Forgotten"

With brown eyes and hair, he was the son of Edward, a mariner in 1895, and Sarah Margaret Belsey who at his death lived at 13 Albion Place, Dover, with his brother Edward, aged 21. His older brother, William, 27, lived at 83 Rotherham Road, Lowestoft, formerly Durham Hill, Dover, and his married sister, Helen Caroline Martin, 29, at 19 Hartley Street.

Only 17 when he enlisted, Alfred adapted slowly to his new responsibilities, being disciplined in early 1915 for various offences, including refusing to obey an order, being absent from parade and from his post, and being drunk in Biggin Street in the evening. Nevertheless, his  mother received a letter from Lahana Military Cemetery, by Charles FairSecond Lieutenant Hopkins, after his death:- "It is with deep regret that I convey to you the sad news of your son, who passed away peacefully in the service of his King and country on July 27th. He was a very fine soldier and I am sure you will be proud to learn of the deep regret felt by the officers, NCOs, and men of his company."


Private Belsey's grave is the second in the group of five near the cairn step >>>>

pictures with thanks to Charles Fair

BelsonGL, courtesy Dover ExpressBelson, G. L.
George Lewis Belson was an Old Pharosian, and he is commemorated on the memorial window at the Dover Grammar School for Boys. He was born on 13 June 1896 at Gravesend, Kent, and in 1901 was with his parents, George and Eliza Belson, at 55 Alloa Road, Deptford, London. There also were his elder sister, Ethel, 6, and his younger sister Florence, 1.

He served in the Royal Navy, with the number M3799 on the HMS Fisgard as a Boy Artificer. He had been the only boy of several from the Grammar (then County School)to pass the exam for eligibility for service on the vessel. 

His parents, who lived at 21 Astley Avenue, received two telegrams. The first stated, "Regret to say your son has met with a very serious accident and is in a critical condition. Will wire again shortly. Chaplain HMS Fisgard" Shortly afterwards another telegram arrived, "Regret to say your son passed away; result of accident" Mr Belson was a Customs House officer, then at Ramsgate, and was informed of the sad loss at his work.

George Belson died on 3 December 1914, and is buried in Gravesend Cemetery, 3184  

Berry, W. J.
William James Berry, J/11168, was ashore with the HMS Pembroke, formerly HMS Grampus, as an Able Seaman. He died on 14 February 1916, aged 22, at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. His body was brought from Ireland to Dover. The first part of his burial service was held at Holy Trinity, Dover, and he is buried at St Mary's, Dover, E 1 23.

Born on 7 October 1893, he was the eldest son of S Berry, who left his mother a widow. She remarried to George Walker, a stoker, to become Mrs Alice Kate Walker, of 31 Limekiln Street (formerly of 20 Limekiln Street, and in 1901 at 39 Limekiln Street), Dover. Mr and Mrs Walker had a daughter, Ethel.

Betts, J. E. W.
James Edward William Betts, 277057, was born in Dover on 7 June 1875. He was the son of James Betts, a mariner, and Eliza, born in Dartmouth, Devon. In 1881 they were living at 22 Albion Place, Dover, with their children, James, 7, John, 5, William, 3, and Eliza, 1, all born in Dover like their father. By 1901 James was married, to Gladys Adelaide, and was a stoker at Bermuda, aboard Proserpine. As Petty Officer Stoker in the Royal Navy, he died of disease on 13 October 1918, aged 43, while serving on HMS "Teviot".

He was buried at the Royal Naval Cemetery, Haslar, Gosport, Hampshire, E 33.19 (Clayhall Cemetery, Clayhall Road). Mrs Betts was at 53 Easlemont Road, Southsea, at the time of his death, and later at 29 Lawson Road, Southsea, Hampshire.

On his headstone is inscribed, "James Edward Betts, Stoker Petty Officer RN, RN Barracks, died 13th Oct 1918 aged 44"

Bidgood, T. A. T.
TAT Bidgood, stone, by Michelle and Andy CooperThomas Aylmer Tattnall Bidgood was in the 91st (or 96th?) Heavy Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery. Gazetted as 2nd Lieutenant on 9 February 1915 (p1328), he was a Lieutenant and was 20 years old when he died of wounds on 28 October 1917. He is buried in Plot B, Kantara, by Andy and Micehlle CooperKantara War Memorial cemetery, Egypt, B 182

He was the "dearly beloved and only son" of Major T W Bidgood, from 4 Harold Terrace, Dover.

Lieutenant Bidgood's sister, Lilian Constance Bidgood, lost her life in World War II.

Right, plot B at Kantara cemetery.
pictures: Michelle and Andy Cooper

headstone, by Joyce BanksBingham, S. C.
Stephen Charles Bingham, 57401, formerly 3799 of the Royal West Surrey Regiment, was a Private in the 4th Garrison of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers He was born and enlisted in Dover.

He died on 19th December 1917 and is buried in the Blargies Communal Cemetery Extension, France, 1 A 10.


The headstone (left) is at St James, Dover, and reads:


In Ever Loving Memory
Hannah Bingham
Who fell asleep March 14th 1916
Aged 72 years.

Day By Day We Saw Her Fade
And Gently Pass Away
We Fondly Wish Within Our Hearts
That She Might Longer Stay
Gone But Not Forgotten
Her End Was Peace
Also of George Henry* Bingham
Husband of the above
Who passed away March 28th 1918
In his 75th year
"Thy Will Be Done"
Also of Stephen Charles Bingham
Son of the above
Who gave his life for King and Country
December 19th 1917
Aged 38 years
At Rest

* or Henry George, according to records
photo and transcription with thanks to Joyce Banks

E T Bish's medals, courtesy L BishBish, E. T.
Edward Thomas Bish, L/6774, enlisted in London and was a Company Quartermaster ET Bish and Lydia, couretsy Mr L. BishSerjeant from E company of the 2nd battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment. He died from wounds on 19th September 1914, aged 30, after having fought in the battle of Aisne with the BEF.

He was born in Dover, the son of Thomas and Alice Bish, from 34 Nightingale Road, Dover, also 11 Heathfield Avenue, and he left a widow, Lydia N A Bish (nee Goddard), who lived at 137 Hartington Road, Brighton.

He is buried at St Nazaire (Toutes-Aides) in France, reference A 12. .  

with thanks to Mr L Bish

Bishop, F. G.
Frank George Bishop, J/6765, was born in Ramsgate on 4 May 1894. Serving in the Royal Navy as an Able Seaman with HMS Conquest he was drowned on 18 March 1916 when the ships boat was lost off Harwich during a storm. All 39 crew, who were returning from shore leave, were lost. Frank Bishop was laid to rest at St Mary's, Shotley, near Harwich, RN plot 103.

His parents were William James Bishop, born in Chatham on 1 August 1866, a dock labourer in 1901, and Florence, his wife, born in Ramsgate on 19 February 1870. The family moved from Ramsgate to Dover around 1900. At home in 1901 at 3 Pleasant Row, Dover, were children William J, born about 1890, Harry, about 1891, Ernest, 24 February 1892, Florence Elizabeth, about 1896, and May, about 1900. Frank, then 6, he was a patient in Dover Hospital in the High Street. In 1911 the family were living at 16 Hartley Street, and had been joined by Edward, about 1901, Frederick, about 1903, Charlotte Elizabeth, 1907, and Horace, 1909. There was another sister, Lilian E, born on 1 July 1914. One daughter, Elizabeth May, had died young. Mr and Mrs Bishop later moved to 6 Durham Place, and thence, by 1939, to number 8.

Frank was probably the brother of William Bishop, below.

Possibly Frank's brother Horace married in 1928 Elizabeth/Gladys Culver, the sister of Arthur Young

note: confirmation of years of birth of the siblings is difficult.

Bishop, W. T.
Identification is uncertain, but there is a burial record for a William Thomas Bishop at Charlton on 20 April 1921, then aged 32.

He was buried from 6 Durham Place, and would probably be the brother of Frank, above. A veteran of the Great War and described as an Army Pensioner, he died at the Victoria Hospital in Dover.

 Mourners at his funeral were his father and mother, Mr H and Ernest Bishop, brothers, the Misses M and C Bishop and Mrs Gudge (Florence), sisters,  and sister-in-law Mrs H Bishop.

His grave is 2J24. It appears to be unmarked; it is probably the space immediately behind the rectangular kerbstones in the centre of the picture.

Wreaths were recorded at the Town Memorial on Armistice Day 1927 and 1928. Respectively they were for "Wm James Bishop and Frank George Bishop from his Father, Mother, Sister and Brothers" and for "William and Frank George Bishop from his Father, Mother, Sister and Brothers".

Mrs Florence Bishop died on 4 September 1948, aged 78, at 8 Durham Hill. She was buried at St Mary's with her husband, who had died on 18 January 1945, also at 8 Durham Hill.

Note: William appears as William J in the census return of 1901. There is a birth for William Jamesregistered in Thanet in 1892. Burial and death records name William Thomas Bishop.

Victor Black, courtesy Dover Museum close up of Neville Black, from picture supplied by Dover MuseumBlack, N. V.
Neville Victor Black, 36679, a Private from the 11th battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment was 21 when he died on 13th October 1918. He died in Russia and is buried at Murmansk

He was born and enlisted in Dover, and was the son of Victor John and Mrs Bertha J Black, née Craig. Mrs Black lived at 19 Tower Hamlets Road, Dover.

The picture (right) is supplied with the courtesy of Dover Museum. On the back are the words "Victor Black Scouts War Service War Service Runner Buried at Murmansk St Mary's Scouts" It is believed to be Neville Victor Black, as he is buried at Murmansk, and is commemorated on both the St Mary's Parish and St Mary's School memorials. He was born in 1897.

with thanks to Jean Marsh and Mark Frost

Blackett, W. S. B.
William Stewart Burdett Blackett was a Captain in the Leicestershire Yeomanry. The regiment was The Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line (including Yeomanry and Imperial Camel Corps). He served in the South African campaign with the Grenadier Guards. He died of wounds when he was 41, on 24/25th November 1914, and is buried at Poperinghe in Belgium.

He was the son of Captain Blackett of the Royal Navy, and the husband of Mrs Blackett Swiny, from Arbigland, Dumfries.  His sister was Miss Catherine S M Blackett, who lived at 84 London Road, Dover (Tunbridge Wells)Miss C Blackett also lived at The Cottage, Park Avenue, Dover.

W J Blackford house, by Simon ChambersBlackford, W. J.
William James Blackford was commemorated on the memorial at Christchurch, Folkestone Road, before its demolition. He was an Engineer Commander in the Royal Naval Reserve, serving on the HMS Engadine. He had served in the Royal Navy from 8th August 1915, and at the time of the Armistice he had been posted to the Black Sea. He had continued absence from England until November 1919, when he became seriously ill, believed to be as a result of his war work.

He died at the Chatham Naval Hospital on New Year's Day 1920, when he was 51, from a rupture of an aneurism of his aorta, and was buried with full naval honours at Charlton, Dover, H 20.

His wife. Amy Kendall Blackford lived at 97 Folkestone Road, Dover, and his parents, William Farmar and Elizabeth Blackford, also came from Dover. He had five children.

WET Blanche, courtesy Dover ExpressBlanche, W.
William Edward Thomas Blanche, 56687, was born and enlisted in Dover. He was a Gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery, died from wounds received in  action on 25th April 1916, when he was 23. The Chaplain to the Forces, the Rev S. Waldegrave CP said "I thought a great deal of him and he was very helpful to me in many ways. He was an earnest Christian in a devout manly way, and a devout communicant. He was beloved by us all, and the loss to the battery and the church of God is great."

The Battery Quarter Master Sergeant wrote on 5th May 1916 saying he was "one of the most respected men in the Battery, was well liked by all ranks, a real good soldier, and his loss will be keenly felt by all his comrades."

The letter, pictured left, continues by saying that "His grave is marked by a cross, and an everlasting wreath has been added, with a card bearing a suitable inscription. that is all we could do on earth for him, and may God be pleased to receive his soul, is the earnest prayer of yours very sincerely, A E Thorlby(?)" William is buried at Berles-au-Bois Churchyard Extension, France, 56687

The pictures below are of William's parents, in 1934, of his sister Gladys, in 1914, and of his brother, Cyril, who served in the Motor Transport. The fourth person is believed to be Bob, possibly of the Royal Flying Corps.

The family lived at 32 Noah's Ark Road during the war, and later their parents, William and Maria, lived at 32 Greenlands Terrace, Dover.

William's parents, courtesy Mr Blanche Gladys, courtesy Mr Blanche CSD Blanche, courtesy Dover Express Bob Blanche? courtesy Mr Blanche

in memoriam announcement from family, courtesy Dover Express
April 1917
In loving memory of our dear son ...

'Tis hard to part with those we love,
Though parting hours will come,
Then let us hope to meet above,
In that eternal home.

From his loving Mum and Dad, Sister and Brother

with thanks to Mr Blanche

J Bland, gravestone, by Simon Chambers

Bland, J. H.
Joseph Henry Bland, G/9033, had been working as a labourer when he enlisted, aged 19, in Dover the 6th battalion of The Buffs, on 11 December 1915. Born in Cork, he lived at 1 St James Passage with his mother Elizabeth, a widow, and his brother Edward, 22 in 1916, and his sister Kathleen, 25.  

Before going overseas, he was confined to barracks several times, for various offences including inattention in the ranks and being late on parade. Once on the Front he fell sick with tonsillitis, being admitted to hospital on 11 May 1916 for six days. Three months later, on 1 September 1916, he was seriously wounded by gunshot in his right thigh and shoulder, sent to the ambulance train on 3 September, and transferred back to England. He underwent an amputation of his leg, but his wounds became septic, and he died, aged 20, on 30th September at 1.30 in the afternoon, at the Duchess of Connaught Red Cross Hospital, Taplow, Buckinghamshire.

His body was brought home, and he is buried at St James, DV12. His effects were also returned: a bag, a belt, some correspondence, and four shillings and ninepence one farthing.


Blatchford, J. W.
John William Blatchford, 56192, enlisted at Herne Bay, and was a Private from the Royal East Kent Volunteer Reserves Machine Gun Corp, serving with the 74th battalion of the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). He was formerly 2170 in the RE Kent Mounted Rifles. On 22nd September 1918, less than a month before the war ended, he was killed in action at the age of 25. He is buried at Ronsoy Communal Cemetery.

Commemorated on the Unitarian Church memorial, he was the son of James and Ann Eliza Blatchford of 7 Maison Dieu Place, High Street, Dover.

Thomas Blaxland and family, c 1912, courtesy Mr B CuffBlaxland, T.
Thomas Blaxland was born in Dover at 45 High Street. He lived with his wife, Mary Louise Blaxland, at 19 Barton Road. He was a Cinque Ports Pilot, who died on 28 February 1916.

The Dover Express reported that Thomas Blaxland boarded a Trinity House steamer at Dover for the Downs. There he had joined a further steamer, the SS "Thornaby", to pilot her as far as Great Yarmouth. She was carrying a load of iron ore from Marbella to Hartlepool. At noon on Monday 28 February, the "Thornaby" was seen by the pilot of a nearby Norwegian steamer suddenly to disappear. She was two miles north east of the Shipwash Light Vessel, near Harwich. 19 crew were lost.

T Blaxland, plaque, courteys Mr B CuffA body, with injuries to the head, was found in the water. The Dover Telegraph stated that the crew of a passing steamer had lifted the body into a lifeboat, but the lifeboat  had then broken loose. The crew had hailed the Southwold lifeboat, "Alfred Godly", and it had towed the steamer lifeboat with the body on board into Lowestoft.

"Many evidences of deep sympathy" were expressed at Thomas Blaxland's funeral on 4th March, the Dover Standard noted.  The cortege started from his home, and he was buried at Charlton cemetery, QM 9. He is commemorated on the Cinque Ports Pilots memorial, unveiled in June 1949 at St Mary's church, and T Blaxland, grave, by Joyce Bankson the Tower Hill memorial in London. 

When the Dover Town Memorial was unveiled in 1924, Mrs Blaxland gave her address as 113 Buckland Avenue.

The inscription on the gravestone reads:

In Loving Memory of My Dear Husband
Thomas Blaxland
Aged 37 Years
Who Was Called Suddenly Away
On February 28th 1916
At Sea By An Act Of War
Gone From His Dear Ones But Never Forgotten


Mrs Blaxland died at the Royal West Kent hospital, Maidstone, at the age of 66, on 16 July 1944

with thanks to Brian Cuff
with thanks to Joyce Banks

Notes: Mr Blaxland's gravestone has a broken column, a symbol of a life cut short.

His brother Edgar, also a Trinity House pilot, is buried close by. The monument on his grave is similarly a broken post, with a chain and anchor added, right. On his headstone are the words, "Sacred to the loving memory of Elgar Blaxland, Trinity House Pilot, died 3rd April 1930. "Pilot of that Haven afar, grant him sweet peace beyond the bar". At the foot is written, "Also of Vita, his wife, died 4th January 1971, aged 85 years".

Mr Blaxland, unusually, has a dedication on a CWGC memorial for the missing (at Tower Hill) but has also a grave.

Bligh, W. V.
William Victor Bligh, K/3614, was a 1st class Stoker in the Royal Navy. Born on 8 December 1890 in Dover (registered as "Blythe"), he had been employed at the Packet Yard before entering the Navy. He had had ten years service, and was with HMS "Wallington" when he died on 24 February 1919 at the Immingham Naval Hospital. He was suffering from pneumonia following influenza, and had just returned from a short leave to see his brother, S M F Bligh of the RFA, when he became ill.

He is buried at St Mary's, Dover, JH9. His funeral was conducted with full Naval honours, the coffin being borne on a gun carriage and covered with the Union Flag. At the end of the service the Last Post was sounded.

This was the second death  in the family in under four months, as his stepbrother, Lewis Holyman, also died from pneumonia following influenza, on 2 November 1918.

William was the son of Flora Bligh. The daughter of Lewis Nathan, she had married James Blythe in Dover in 1877. By 1881 the couple had a son, Henry James Blythe, aged 1. Mr Blythe was a general hawker, and Mrs Blythe a charwoman. She is recorded as Florence Flora, and as having been born in Hull, while other census returns and her birth registration give her birthplace as London.

By 1891 Mrs Bligh was 30 and a widow. She was working as a charwoman and lodging at 6 Finnis Court, Dover. With her were her sons George, 8, (probably registered as "Blythe") and Frederick, 6,  and her daughter Jessie, 3.  Also there, head of the household, was John Holyman, a boatman and a widower, with his son John, aged 3 months. Mr Holyman had married Eugenie MacDonald on 6 February 1875 at St James, Dover, and they may have been living in Ramsgate in 1881, with his adopted son William Taylor, aged 1. Mr Holyman was the uncle of William Fairweather.

Ten years later, 1901, they had moved to 4 Round Tower Street. John Holyman, head of his household, was then 50 and a marine porter on the boats. Flora, recorded as "Bleigh" or "Blugh" and also as head, was a housekeeper. With her were her sons Walter, 9, and Lewis, 1, and daughters Jessie, 14, and Alice, 3.

Mr John Thomas Weeks or Wicks Holyman, son of John Weeks Holyman, and Mrs Flora Bligh (her name in the index to the register was "Blythe") married at Holy Trinity on 20 August 1909. In 1911 they were living at 31 Limekiln Street, with Alice and Lewis. When William died in 1919, his mother was notified at 53 Bulwark Street. She died at 16 Bridge Street in 1933, aged 74.

Note:  John Holyman was talking in Limekiln Street to George Scott on 22 July 1911 when Mary Elizabeth Speller, 25, was murdered in a room above by George William Parker. While George Scott rushed in to assist Mary Speller and brought her dying outside, John Holyman, remaining below, saw the assailant leave the premises. He and George Scott pursued him, detaining him until Constable Blaskett arrived. Mary Speller, the mother of three children (George, 4, Florence, 2, and Edward, 11 months), was buried four days later at St Mary's; George Parker, aged 26, was executed at Maidstone prison on 19 December 1911.

Blogg, J.
James Blogg, G/24678, is buried at the Stump Road Cemetery in Grandcourt, France. He was just 19 when he was killed on 18 November 1916. He enlisted at St Pancras, Middlesex, had been serving as a Private with the 7th battalion of The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. He was formerly 5662, the East Kent Regiment.

He was the son of James and Rhoda Martha Blogg, and he lived in Dover. His nephew John Skelton, aged 6, the son of his sister Amelia, was drowned on 19 June 1940 while evacuated to Wales.

CP Blundell headstone, by Michelle and Andy Cooper

Blundell, C.
Charles Percival Blundell, 16936, died from a gunshot wound at the No 2 General Hospital, Havere, France, on 8 November 1915, when he was 28. He was a Second Corporal in the 54th Field Company of the Royal Engineers. He now lies in the Ste Marie Cemetery, Le Havre, France, Div 19 L 4.

He was born and enlisted in Dover, the son of Charles Blundell and his wife Susannah, née Robbins, who had married on 10 November 1880 at St Lawrence in Thanet. Mr Blundell was a pork butcher, of Charlton, Dover and his father, Thomas, was a coastguard. Mrs Blundell's father was a bricklayer.

In 1891 the family were living at 2 East Street, Dover. Children then there were Frank Charles, born 1881, Margaret Lucy, born 1885, Charles, born 1887, and Henry Arthur, just five months. A servant was also there.

Mr Blundell died at the age of 45, probably at the beginning of 1898. The family moved to 16 Kimberley Terrace, Douglas Road, Dover, and there in 1901 were Mrs Blundell, living on her own means, Frank, a carpenter's apprentice, Margaret, a dressmaker's apprentice, Charles, who had become a telegraph messenger, and Henry. They had been joined by Sidney Herbert in 1892, and Dorothy Mary in probably 1894.

Charles attested on 12 November 1907 with his old schoolmaster as reference; he was then a bricklayer. He was 5' 7½" tall, taking size 7 boots, with grey eyes and brown hair, and described as having a mole on his left shoulder and a large faint mark of a scar on his chest. Meanwhile his  mother, with Frank, Margaret, and Dorothy, remained at 16 Kimberley Terrace. On 4 May 1910 he extended his service to seven years, and on 21 March 1914 to 12 years, and on 18 April 1915 he was promoted to Second Corporal. He served in South Africa from 5 August 1914 to 20 October 1914, and with the BEF in France from 20 November 1914 to 8 November 1915. He had undertaken instruction in telephony, which he passed with a "fair" on 14 January 1910, and was considered a "very superior" bricklayer on 19 October 1911 and promoted to 2nd engineer, having passed at the Western Heights workshop on 14 November 1907 as a superior and skilled bricklayer.

Mrs Blundell received probate for her son on 19 May 1916, with effects totalling £240 13s 6d, and his personal belongings on 1 September 1916. She asked for the words below to be placed on his headstone:

Blundell headstone, Charlton, by Joyce BanksGrant him, Oh Lord,
Eternal Rest
and the Shining
of Light Perpetual

A headstone in Charlton cemetery (right) reads:

In Loving Memory
Charles Blundell
----- 4th Jane 1898 aged 45 years.
2 children of the above who died in infancy.
Charles Percival 3rd son of the above who
died from wounds at Le Havre aged 28 years.
Grant them O Lord eternal rest and the shining of light perpetual.
Also Susannah wife of the above died 25th March 1944 aged 90.

(transcribed by Joyce Banks)

Mrs Blundell, then of 32 Douglas Road, died at Barham.

Notes: in Charles' records his brother Sydney is given as being at The Buffs Convalescent Camp, Eastbourne, and his brother at the Police Section House, Borough Hight Street, SE.

Blythe, H. E.
Horace Edward (actually Eldred) Blythe, TF/6487, lived and enlisted in Dover. He was a Private of the 1/7th Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment). He died in France on 6/7 October 1916, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France, 12D and 13B.

Born on 11 May 1890 and christened on 22 June 1890, Horace was the son of George Charles Blythe and his wife Selina Emily, née Rigden. Mr Blythe was a fireman on the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway. In 1891 the family were living at 1 Claremont Cottages, George Street, Buckland, Dover, with their daughter Clara Agnes R, born 1886, and sons George William F, born 1888, and Horace. Ten years later the family were at 1 Edgar Crescent, and Mr Blythe had changed occupation to become a general dealer. Clara was working as a nurse girl.

In 1911 the family were at 44 Union Road, and had been joined by a new son, Sidney Hubert H, born in 1903. Mr Blythe had become a carrier and contractor, and Horace was assisting him as a carrier. On 13 February 1916 Horace married Ethel Emily Perry at St Andrews, Buckland. Horace's effects were sent back to her just a few months later.

Horace's father, then living at the Old Cottage, St Radigund's Abbey, asked for his son to be commemorated on the memorial at Dover.

Blythe, R.
Reginald Blythe, L/16100, was a Private in the 4th battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), having enlisted in Hounslow. He was killed in action in France on 14th September 1914, and is commemorated on La Ferte Sous Jouarre memorial, France.

He was born at Victoria, Buckland, on 12th October 1898, and his father was Archibald James Blythe, who in 1924 was living at 8 Tynemouth Street, Fulham, London, with Reginald's mother, A Blythe. William Blythe, below, was Reginald's brother

see The Blythe Family..

Blythe, W.
William Blythe, 13353, was a Serjeant who was awarded the Military Medal. In the 8th battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), having enlisted in London, he was killed in action on the Somme at the age of 27 on 7 July 1916. His name is engraved on the Thiepval memorial, France

He came from Dover, having been born at Erith Street, Buckland, and had been stationed there. He left a widow, Susan, who lived at 2 Ethelbert Road, Tower Hamlets, Dover. He was brother to Reginald, above

See The Blythe Family

Boakes, T. J.
Thomas J. Boakes, G/14032, was a Private in the 6th battalion of The Buffs. He was a general dealer, living at 43 Kitchener Road, cared for by Mrs E M Spiers, a housekeeper.  He was born and enlisted in Dover, and was in the 24th Training Reserve Battalion. He may have had a late night on 17 April 1917, as the next morning, at the 8am parade, he was confined to his billet at Watford for being unshaven and having a dirty rifle.

He was killed in action on 3rd October 1917, aged 39, and now lies at Monchy-Le-Preux in France, I N 22. His parents had predeceased him, but he left brothers Ben, of 1 Tower Hamlets Road, William, David, and a sister Ellen.

*Borrow, A.
Probably Arthur Borrow, G/414, a Lance Corporal in the Royal Sussex Regiment. He served in the 7th battalion. He died on 24th December 1915, and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.

He was born in St John's, Yorks, and enlisted in Hastings.

BJ Bourne, courtesy Dover ExpressBourne, B. J.
Bertie James Bourne, 102253, was a Gunner in the 168th Siege Battery in the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was killed by a shell which exploded over his battery on 31 October 1917. His Major said of him, "He was one of the best gunners in the Battery, and a thorough good soldier, always cheerful in the worst circumstances".

Born at Ickham by Canterbury, Bertie was one of the six children of James, a labourer in 1901 and a railway plate layer in 1911, and his wife Ann, née Fairbrass. The couple had married in on 31 October1886 at Wingham. Both signed the register with a cross.

Bertie was christened on 14 August 1892 at St John the Evangelist, Ickham. He had two older sisters, Sarah Ann and Esther, and three younger brothers, Thomas Leonard H, Henry William (or William Henry), and Ernest Leonard. Sarah Ann probably died in 1908 at the age of 21, and from 4 River Street was buried at River. Esther, in 1896, married Maurice Deegan. The family were living at Ewell Minnis in 1901 and 4 River Street in 1911; Bertie was then a labourer.

In 1911 Bertie married Eliza Agnes Kenney. They had three daughters, Nora Agnes, born on 13 January 1912 and christened at S Peter and Paul at River on 21 February 1912- her father was then a farm labourer, Ivy M, born in 1914 and Irene Alice, born in 1916. The family lived at 8 River Street.

 Bertie enlisted in Dover, and was 25 when he died. He is buried at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, I I 63.

Mrs Bourne remarried on 7 October 1919 to Henry Albert Carter. The couple probably had four sons; Albert, 1920,  Sidney, 1921, William, about 1924, and Frederick, 1926.

gravestone by Jean Marsh

Note; in the records the surname appears variously as Bourn or Bourne.

Bowlt, B
Bartholomew Bowlt is commemorated in the East London Cemetery, Plaistow, United Kingdom (screen wall 28056). He was a Fireman in the Mercantile Marine Reserve, with HMS Stephen Furness, and died from accidental injuries at the age of 27 on 3 September 1915. He was born in Dover, and was the son of William and Olive Bowlt, of 12 Victoria Street, Dover, formerly 26 Union Row. His brother, Frederick, was also a casualty, and is named below.

Their sister, Isabel Maria Knox of 12 Victoria Street, asked that they should be commemorated. Mrs Knox's husband, Charles William Knox, was also a casualty. Elizabeth Behan, another sister, of the same address, was the relative notified of Frederick Bowlt's death. She too lost her husband, John Joseph Behan; he died exactly two years before her brother Frederick.  Mrs Behan suffered a further bereavement when her 15-month old daughter, Ivy Isabella, was knocked down and killed by a cart in the Union Road on 26 July 1917. Little Ivy is buried at Buckland, as is Benjamin, a brother of Frederick and Bartholomew, who died at the age of 10 in 1902.

Their brother Percy John married Dorothy Mary Ellis, sister of Ernest Benjamin Ellis, in 1925.

FW Bowlt's gravestone (shared with R W Russell), by Simon ChambersBowlt, F. W.
FW Bowlt, courtesy Dover ExpressFrederick William Bowlt, J/29331, was one of the Dovorians killed in action during the famed Zeebrugge Raid, when British vessels attempted to protect shipping by blocking the outlet  for German submarines at Zeebrugge. He was aboard HMS Vindictive, which suffered severe shelling even before reaching the mole (harbour wall), and of which the landing parties were forced to advance under heavy German bombardment. Born on 30 June 1898, he was 19 when he died on 23 April 1918.

Like Bartholomew above he was the son of William and Olive Bowlt, née Aldridge, the Zeebrugge graves at St Jamesof 17 Union Row, Dover. In 1901 the family were at 5 York Place, Dover, with William occupied as a boilermaker. With them were seven children, all born in Dover: Isabel, Bartholomew, Kate, Benjamin, Lizzie, Frank, and Frederick.

He now lies at St James, in Dover, PW 12a, with many of his comrades.  Dover commemorates the anniversary of the action every year on St George's Day when the Mayor rings the bell from the mole at Zeebrugge, now hanging outside the town hall, and after attending a service held at the gravesides at St James' cemetery where Frederick now rests.

The Zeebrugge graves in the distance at St James

AM Bowman, courtesy Dover Expressheadstone, by Joyce BanksBowman, A. M.
Arthur Morris Bowman, 41286, was a Private from the 3rd battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment. He was reported as wounded on 22nd March, and then listed as missing and presumed killed on (20)30th March 1918. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France, pier and face 5a and 6c.

He was born and enlisted in Dover, and his mother was Mrs Elizabeth May Bowman, from 6 East Street, Dover. He had brothers and sisters, and was known as "Joey" to the family.   

The headstone is at St James, and reads:

"Until We Meet"
In Loving Memory
a dear husband
Arthur Bowman
died 3rd January 1938
aged 78 years
And Elizabeth May
wife of the above
died 5th January 1954
aged 79 years
Also of our dear son
Arthur Morris
Killed in France 1918
aged 28 years
And our dear son
Walter Edward
died 4th October 1935
aged 42 years

1925 - In ever loving memory of our dear son ... God knows how much we miss him, And knows the tears we shed. But hush! He softly whispers, "Thy loved one is not dead", But only gone before, To that bright home above, To wait with Christ, our Saviour, For those on earth we loved. From his sorrowing Mum and Dad.

photo and transcription with thanks to Joyce Banks

Boyton, V. H. T.
Victor Henry Thompson Boyton was a Second Lieutenant in the 289th Siege Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was 20 when he was killed in action on 31st May 1917, and his buried at Vlamertinghe millitary cemetery in Belgium.

He was the son of Charles Taylor Boyton and Fanny May Boyton, of Bank House, Horsefair, Birmingham.

*Brace, A. W.
Probably Alfred William Brace, 72353, a Private in the 15th battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derby Regiment). He was formerly 33620 of the RFC.

He lived in Dover at 31 Millais Road, right, and had been a coach painter before he enlisted in London. He was the husband of Alice Brace, née Britten, of Huntsville, Church Road, Hadleigh, Southend-on-Sea. They had married on 8 June 1908 at St Neots and had a son, Sidney Victor, born on 3 June 1909.  

He died of wounds caused by a bomb explosion at 1.45 pm on 27 February 1918, at the 36th Divisional Salvage Dump, Kempton. He and several others had been unloading a waggon of Stoke Mortar  bombs when one was dropped. It exploded, killing two outright and injuring six others. Private Brace was amongst the injured, and later died from his wounds.

He is buried at the Duhallow A D S cemetery, Belgium, IV A 5. His effects were sent home; amongst them were letters, photographs, a religious book, a cigarette case, a badge, a knife, and some cards.

gravestone photo by Jean Marsh

Surnames B (part 1 of 3 - B to Bed are here
Surnames B (part 3 of 3 - Brad to end) are here


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