World War I
CASUALTIES ON THE
(part 2 of 3)
(Surnames C (part 1 of 3, C to
Clac) are here, Surnames C (part 3 of
3, Cop to end) are here)
Clarett, M2/0507(9)05, was a Private in the Royal Army Service
Corps (Motor Transport). He died on Christmas Day, 1917,
at the Royal Herbert Hospital, Woolwich, from injuries
received in France. He was 26. He is buried at
St James Cemetery in Dover, the United Kingdom.
born and enlisted in Dover. He was the second son of Mr
and Mrs George Clarett, from the Westbury Hotel,
note: Pvt Clarett
is the only person with this surname to be recorded by
Soldiers Died as having died in WWI
(note, his name on the memorial appears after William
Claringbould, 305063, was the son of Thomas Richard and Emily Claringbould, of 142 Heathfield
Avenue, Dover, and had
emigrated to Canada to work as a Farmhand.
23rd October 1915 he enlisted as a Private in the Central Ontario Regiment (Canadian Infantry), the 4th battalion. He was
then 23 years and 8 months, and was recorded as being
five feet nine and a half inches tall, with blue eyes
and brown hair.
He was 27 when he died on
Christmas Eve, 1919 at the General Hospital from an
illness lasting just ten days, indirectly caused by the
wounds he sustained in the Great War.
address was then given as (1)89 Darling Street. Two days
later, on Boxing Day, his funeral procession, with his
coffin borne by comrades, went from Mr and Mrs Harris'
(his cousins) home, 175 Wellington Street, to the Brantford (Mount
Hope) Cemetery in Canada.
He left a widow, whom he
had married only two months before, on 22nd October, Emma
née Wyatt, recently arrived from Marple, Cheshire,
England. She later lived at
303 Wellington Street, Brantford, Ontario.
The cross on his grave reads:
In loving memory of
Pte. Thomas H. Claringbould
Passed away Dec 24 1919
in his 29th year
They Fought Suffered And Died
That we might live
Thomas Claringbould is named on the Brant County War
Memorial, Ontario (left, and detail above, left)..
with thanks to Graydon
Jones for the grave pictures. Pte Claringbould's grave is in section IW W1/ 7-14 grave 6
with thanks to Bill Bowman for the Brant
County memorial pictures
also newspaper clippings on the
Canadian Virtual Memorial
John Jack Clark, 28828, was a Private in the 11th battalion of the
Border Regiment (formerly G/86931 Middlesex). He was
killed in action on 25th November 1917, when he
was 20. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial in
born and enlisted in Dover, and was
the son of Frederick and Rachel Clark, from 4 Russell
Place, Dover. In 1911 Mr Clark was working as a
platelayer, and John's elder brothers, Richard, aged 28
and Henry, aged 25, were working as bird catchers. John
had also two elder sisters, Rachel, aged 20, a shop
assistant in the general bazaar, and Sarah, a day girl
in domestic service. John himself was then 14 and working
as an errand boy for green groceries. He had a younger
brother too, Frederick, aged 12.
photo Jean Marsh
Percy John Clark,
23136, came from Whitfield, Dover, and was a Second
Lieutenant in No 5 Company, the New Zealand Machine Gun
Corps. He had been Mentioned in Dispatches and had
served in Egypt.
He was killed in action on 11 October
1917, aged 23. He is commemorated at Tyne Cot, in
the NZ Apse, Panel 9.
photo Jean Marsh
Clark, P. J.
Clark, G/8004, was a Serjeant in A company of the 10th
battalion of the Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment).
He was killed in action on 27th April 1918, when he was
31. He is buried at the Hagle Dump Cemetery, Belgium.
born in Penge, Kent, and lived and enlisted at
gravestone, fourth from left, above, Hagle Dump -
Serjeant Clark's grave is to the left, approximately
beneath the line of the second tree. Pictures by Peter
Clark, 17949, was born on 23 March 1885 at Buckland, Dover,
to James Edward Clark and his wife Martha Lock, née
Carswell. The couple had married at St James on 2
Mr Clark was a gardener, as was his father Richard
before him. In 1871 Mr Clark was also sexton, and the
family were living at the St James Cemetery gatekeeper's
residence, Copt Hill Road, Dover. Frederick too, in
1901, was also working as a non-domestic gardener, as
was his brother William. By 1911, however, with a wife,
Nellie Elizabeth, née Harvey, born 5 January 1886,
whom he had married in 1879, and a new son, also
Frederick Henry, born in 1908, Frederick was a milkman
and diary worker. They were then living at 4 St
Bartholomew's Place. Frederick later worked for Messrs G
and A Clark's nurseries.
Frederick had nine brothers and sisters; a further
sibling had died early. They were James Richard, born
1865, Annie Isabel, born 23 August 1867, Thomas Edward,
born 11 October 1869, Charlotte Elizabeth, born 27 July
1871, and Martha Eleanor or Ellen, born about 1874. She
married Herbert S Hunt on 5 August 1918 at St Mary's,
These children were followed by Flora Jane, born 1876,
who married Harry Richard Baker in 1899, William Arthur,
born 17 February 1879, Louisa Maria, born 4 June 1881,
who married Richard Edward Blay on 20 May 1908 at the
Wesleyan Centenary Church, Dover (her father was then
described as a florist), Then Frederick Henry, and
finally Cecilia Catherine, born 1888, and who married
John Smith on 1 January 1921 at Charlton church. The
family were living at 27 George Street while Frederick
was growing up; in 1881 they had been recorded at number
Frederick enlisted in Canterbury in May 1916, becoming a Private in the 8th battalion
of the East Surrey Regiment. He was 32 when he died on
1st March 1917, killed in action by a shell,
which burst on an advanced post based in a former shell
hole. His wife and son then lived
at 7 York Place.
When his lieutenant wrote to his widow, he said that
Fred "fell doing his duty in a war which claims
everyone, and in saving England from the desolation
which is spread over Northern France. He was one of the
many who had to take up military duties at a more
advanced age than is usual, and he endured the many
hardships out here without complaining." A
comrade, writing to Mrs Clark, says that Fred "died as a
soldier at his post, doing his duty for his family and
country". He is commemorated on the Thiepval
memorial, France, pier and face 6B and 6C.
remarried in 1918 and became Mrs Henry E Cooper,
living at 162 Southwood Road, St Lawrence, Ramsgate.
Mr Cooper was born on 9 December 1888 and in 1939 was a
general labourer, living with his wife at 41 Limekiln
Street. The couple had a daughter, Millie Matilda, in
Mr James Clark died on 19 May 1916. Mrs Martha Lock
Clark died on 30 December 1927; she is buried at
Charlton. Mrs Nellie Cooper died in 1951 in Diss,
picture lower left:
Fred, his son, on the occasion of his engagement to Dot,
lower right, Mrs Cooper, formerly Clark
with thanks to Mrs V Bale
Note: Mrs Nellie Clark, later Cooper, was
christened at St John the Mariner, Dover, on 3 February
1886. The names given then were Nellie Catherine, which
were also the names appearing in the birth register
index. She was the daughter of bricklayer Charles Henry
Harvey and his wife Fanny Catherine of 23 Tower Hamlets
Street, and in 1901 was a domestic servant. When she
married Frederick Clark, she was named as Nellie
Elizabeth in the register, and as Nellie E in the
register when she married Henry Cooper. In the 1911
census she is recorded as Ellen; in the 1939 register it
is possible she is "Nellie C".
(We Remember 06)
S/8175, was a Private in the 24th company of the Royal
Army Ordnance Corps. He died
of uraemia 6 November 1919, when he was 35. He is buried at the
Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial
Cemetery, Egypt (G24).
He was the son of
Alice Clarke, of 161 Clarendon
Place, Dover, and the late Edward Dixon Clarke. Mrs
Clarke stated that he had enlisted in Dover on 15
November 1902, had served in France in 1914, and in
Egypt from 1916 to 1919.
Claw, 186777, was an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy. Born
on 25 June 1880, he
served in the Boer War aboard HMS Powerful - the guns of
which helped relieve the Siege of Ladysmith. AB Claw lost his life
still on service, when the Aboukir was torpedoed
on 22nd September 1914. He is commemorated on the
Chatham Naval Memorial, United Kingdom.
His parents were Mr
Andrew Edward and
Mrs Jane Claw, née Potter, from 8 (or 18) Trevanion Street.
In 1891 Mr Claw was 36 and working as a barge waterman
and fisherman, while Sidney's elder brothers, William,
16, and Andrew, 14, were working as a billiard marker
and a port errand boy respectively. Sidney was then 10,
and had two younger brothers, Walter, 8, and Douglas, 2.
The family were living at 1 Trevanion Lane. By 1901
Sidney was aboard HMS Minerva, serving in Gibraltar.
he was at home at 2 Clarence Cottages, Woolcomber
Street, with his parents and his brother Douglas, a
general labourer. Later that year Sydney married Emily Ann Standing in Dover. She and their
son, Sydney Thomas Claw, born in 1913, lived at 7 Trevanion Place, Dover.
Sidney's brother, Walter Edward (Joe) Claw, served at the Front
as a driver with the Royal Field Artillery. They were
uncles to William
Claw, J30330, was a First Class Boy in the Royal Navy.
Born in Dover on 10 December 1897, he died at the age of 17 when
HMS Clan McNaughton was
lost with all 261 aboard off Ireland on 3 February
1915. William is commemorated on the Chatham Naval
born in Dover, and his mother was Ellen Elizabeth Claw,
née Greenstreet, from 128
Union Road. In 1911 the family were living at 116 Union
Road, and at home with William were his brothers Andrew,
11, Sidney Thomas, 4, and George, 1, and his sisters
Ellen, 9, and Jane, 6. His father, William Henry Claw was serving
on the "Onward", and was the brother of Sidney
died on 11 December 1949 at Buckland Hospital, Dover.
John Edward Clifton,
L/10250, served as a Private in the 7th battalion of the
Buffs. He was reported killed on 1st July 1916. He is
buried at the Dive Copse British Cemetery, Sailly-le-Sec
born, enlisted, and lived in Dover, and was
the fourth son of Mr and Mrs H Clifton of Hardwicke
Road, Maxton, and his father and three elder brothers
were all also serving.
Clitheroe, 267162, was a Private in the 1st/7th
battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and
Derby Regiment). He was killed at the Front on 24th
April 1917. In the front line with a Lewis gun team, he
was struck by a flying fragment from a shell bursting
close by, and he was killed instantly. He is buried in
Canadian Cemetery No 2, Neuville-St.Vaast, France.
born and enlisted in Dover, and was the eldest son of
Mr James G and Mrs Margaret Clitheroe, from 8 Woolcomber Lane, Dover.
Mr Woods in 1901 was a stationery engineer at the
Tannery Works in Dover, and Alfred was a house painter
and builder. Living at home with them were two other
brothers, George, aged 25, a driver of an engine, and
Edward, aged 8, and two sisters, Rose, 17, and Ellen,
13. The whole family was born in Dover.
The Chaplain who wrote to
Alfred's parents after his death said, "He was a
good man and a brave soldier who always did his duty."
Cloke, A. G.
Cloke, G/40915, was in the 4th battalion of the
Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment (formerly
2304 Royal Field Artillery). He was killed in action on 31st July 1917, when he
was 31. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Belgium.
born and enlisted in Dover and his
parents were Alexander and Mary Ann Cloke, from 5 De
Burgh Street, Dover, and his wife was Eveline Ethel
Cloke, of 7 Bartholomew Street, Dover.
John Cole, 5354, was
born in Dover, and lived at 11 Hawkesbury Street.
He was the son of Joseph Cole, a general labourer in
1891, and his wife Martha. He had an elder sister,
Alice. In 1898, at the age of 64, Mr Cole died, and by
1901 John had become a pupil and Boy in the army,
residing at Twickenham.Ten years later he was in
Colchester, a Private and a Musician in the 2nd
Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment,
He became an Acting Regimental Company Serjeant
Major in the 2nd battalion of the
West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own). He was
reported wounded and missing, and then as killed in action on 28th March 1918 and is commemorated
on the Pozieres Memorial in France.
He was said to have been greatly
respected in his regiment, in which he had served a
great number of years, having been enlisted in York at
the age of 14 by his brother-in-law, Colour Sergeant
Biffin. CS Biffin served with him at York for a short
time, and then CSM Cole joined the 2nd Battalion, giving
them service of nearly 20 years. He was in the band, and
when the Great War began he was promoted Sergeant
He went with the battalion to
France in November 1914, and had stayed there until he
died. He was promoted Warrant Officer (2nd Class), and
later Regimental Sergeant Major. He was mentioned in
dispatches the day before he died for having shown great
ability, courage, and resource in the handling of
troops. The infantry on the left of the battalion began
to withdraw, and RSM Cole immediately collected a number
of men from various units in Rosiers, and posted them on
the outskirts of the village to fill the gaps. His
prompt action and energy was considered of the greatest
value to his battalion.
Coleman, J. E. T.
Thomas Coleman, 210882, lived and enlisted in Dover, and was a Gunner in B battery, 10th
Brigade, the Royal Horse Artillery/Royal Field Artillery. He died on 25
August 1917, and is buried at the Voormezeele Enclosures
Nos 1 and 2 in Belgium.
the son of James Coleman and Mercy Ann née Coade, who
married in 1889. His mother, from 43 George Street, Dover, asked for his
name and the name of his brother, below, to be placed on the Town Memorial.
In 1911 the family were living at Erith Street.
Coleman, J. M.
Coleman, L/9832, was a Private in the 1st battalion of
the Buffs. He died of wounds on
24 September 1914, and is buried at the Vailly British
Cemetery in France.
born at St Margaret's, and lived in Buckland, Dover, and
enlisted in Dover. In 1911 the family were living at 10
Erith Street, with Mr Coleman working as a general
labourer. There were then nine children at home; James,
above, who also fell in the Great War, was aged 19 and a
labourer for a brick merchant. John, was aged 18, and a
labourer, then there were Charles, aged 16, a sailor,
Daisy, aged 12, and Lily, aged 10. They were born at St
Margaret's, while the next son, William, aged 7, was
born at River, the next two children, Elsie, aged 5, and
Edward, aged 3, were born at St Radigund's Abbey, and
the youngest daughter, May, aged 1, was born in Dover.
Three other children died infancy.
Charles was working as a
labourer at Dover Golf Club when he was 18, and he
survived the Great War. On 12 June 1915 at Holy Trinity
he marred Eliza Elizabeth Gatehouse, the daughter of
Joseph and Margaret Gatehouse, who, in 1911 were living
at 9 Middle Row. He was then living at 27 Tower Hill,
Dover. On 26 November 1915 he was attested into the
Royal Engineers. At his request he then went on 14
February 1916 to the Inland Waterways Transport. On 12
October 1919 he was demobilised to the Class Z Army
Coley, W. J.
Coley was a (2nd) Lieutenant in the 1st battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment. He was 25 when he
was killed in action on 15th
July 1916. He is buried at Bouzincourt Communal Cemetery
Extension in France.
parents were Major W and Mrs A E Coley, from 91 Birkbeck
Road, Enfield, Middlesex. He came from Leigh-on-Sea,
910781, was born in Alkham on Boxing Day 1878, the son
of George and Eleanor Collard. He was in 1911 a
bricklayers' labourer for government contractors, and
with his wife Rose Ellen, née Rabjohns, had two
children, Frederick George, born in 1908, and Amy Rose,
born 1910. The family were living at 37 River Street,
George's mother died in
1912, as did, very sadly, Mrs Collard at the aged of 27.
George may have remarried, as reports suggest that when
he died he left a wife and children. Probably his new
wife was Gertrude Stokes, who married a George Collard
in Dover in 1914. They had two sons, Percival, born in
Ronald Collard, born in 1917.
for the Great War in Dover, and was a Gunner in the 340th battery, 337th
brigade, of the Royal Horse Artillery/Royal Field Artillery
(territorial force). He was 39 when he
died suddenly on 29th January 1917 at the Military
Hospital, Canterbury. He is buried at River
Parish church, Dover.
Ernest James Comper,
184365, was born at Horsham on 24 November 1879. He was
a 2nd Class Petty Officer in the Royal Navy and was aboard HM Trawler Princess Beatrice
when he was
killed by a mine explosion off the Belgian Coast on 5th
October 1914. He is commemorated on the
Chatham Naval Memorial, United Kingdom, panel 1.
was married, to Alice Jenny Comper,
from 49 Hambro Road, Streatham, London. In 1911 he was a
labourer, living with his wife at 19 Hambro Road,
Streatham. They then had a baby daughter, Doris, just
three months old.
the son of Harry Comper, from the Dover Institute,
Biggin Street, and his late wife Mary Ann,
She died in 1880, possibly through childbirth as an
infant, Edward Henry, died at the same time.
Harry Comper may
have been the stepfather of
Edward Henry Comper was born in 1853 at Horsham, Sussex,
and was the son of Ann Comper, a laundress and a widow.
He had an elder brother, William. Mrs Comper remarried
in 1863 to John Langley and they had two sons, John,
born in 1863,and James, born in 1865. Their father died
in 1867, at the age of 39. Mrs Langley continued living
at New Street, Horsham, working as a laundress. In 1871
William were still living with her, working as a
labourer and a saddler respectively.
Mr Comper served as 43404 in the Royal Artillery,
joining at Dover Castle on 11 July 1884 and travelling
as far as Jamaica. . He had previously been working as a
In the 1891 census he was given as a single man, a Gunner in
the Royal Artillery, and living at Dover Castle Military
Station Barracks. Just
afterwards, on 27 July 1891, he married Sylvia Ann
Simmons at St Mary's. He was living at 13 Castlemount
Cottages and she at 7 Worthington Street, Dover.
Thomas Godfrey Cook,
G/20826, was a Private in The Buffs, 7th battalion. He
commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium. The CWGC
records him as having died on 11 July 1917.
Thomas was born in Dover and
christened at Christchurch, Hougham, on 2 August 1891.
His parents, Thomas James and Elizabeth Mary Cook, then
lived at Clairville, Priory Hill, Dover. Mr Cook was a
master mariner, and recorded in the 1891 census as
aboard the paddle steamer Samphire on the channel mail
service, probably as mate. The couple had married on 25
June 1890 at Holy Trinity, Dover; Mr Cook, 32, was
living at 7 Templar Street, and was the son of Thomas
Cook, a retired grocer. The then Miss Bourdeaux,
31, lived at 7 Clarence Place and was the daughter of
John Bourdeaux, a civil engineer
1911 Thomas Godfrey Cook was working as a bank clerk,
boarding with naval pensioner W H Turner and his wife
Kate at 18 The Crescent, Maidenhead. He enlisted in
Stratford, and his home address was given as
Leytonstone, where his mother lived. Thomas was brother
to Sydney, below
announcement 31 August 1917
photo of detail from Menin Gate by Jean Marsh
Bourdeaux Cook, 3131, was a Rifleman in the 1st/12th
(County of London) battalion of the London Regiment (the
Rangers), having enlisted voluntarily in September 1914
at their headquarters in Chenies Street, London. He was
assigned to the 2nd battalion for training.
remained at home between 10 September 1914 and 17 April
1915, suffering a confinement to barracks for one day
for parading with a dirty rifle on 16 March 1915. He
embarked at Southampton for France with a reinforcement
draft on 18 April. He joined the 1st Battalion (1st Rangers)
in the field on 26 April. On 8
May 1915 he was missing in action, presumed killed during the action on Frezenberg Ridge, during the Second Battle of Ypres. He
was 19. His body was never recovered, and he is
commemorated on the Menin Gate.
He lived in Leytonstone, and he
was the son of Elizabeth Mary Cook, of 4 Cromwell
Road or 51 Barclay Road, Leytonstone, London, and the late Thomas James
Cook. He had been born at sea aboard the Oronsay in
He was the brother of Thomas, above,
and of Madeline and Winifred. He may have had another
brother. Their father, Thomas, died aboard the Cambus-Kenneth
on 18 December 1903, aged 46; his address at probate was
given at 45 Buckland Avenue, Dover.
with thanks to Ajax Badrick
W. Cook. This
could be William Cook, CH/406S, RMLI, born 11 January
1894 in Ireland. He died between 11 and 13 May 1915. He
is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.
Alice Cook, lived at 33 Montrose Cottages, Manor Road,
Frederick Cooke, 161513. he had been a cab
driver/groom. He became a Chief Petty Officer in the
Royal Navy, aboard the HMS "Vanguard". He had a long
service and good conduct medal. Born on 19 March 1876 in
London, he was 43 when he died
on 9th July 1917. He was commemorated on the Portsmouth
He was the husband of Emma Mathers
Cooke, of 21, Paulsgrove Road, Northend, Portsmouth. His
parents were Charles and Emma Cooke, of London.
Charles senior originally came from Hanton in
Lincolnshire, and Emma from Somerset. In 1891 the
family were living at 11 St James Street, Dover, with Mr
Cooke working as a cab driver.
He was brother to Frank, Frederick, and Harry,
a port errand boy in 1891, also
lost. Three other brothers, Joseph, Albert, and Arthur,
survived the Great War.
(We Remember 06)
with thanks to Richard McVey
212418. Before enlisting he was a Mason's Labourer,
working on the Dover Breakwater. He enlisted on 25
November 1916, and became a Sapper in the 429th Field Company, Royal
Engineers. He died of gun shot wounds, which he had received in
the 3rd battle of Ypres, on 7th January 1918 in 7
General Hospital. He was 37/38.
He now lies at Longuenesse (St Omer)
Souvenir Cemetery, France.
Frank was born and enlisted in Dover.
He was a brother to Charles, Frederick, and Harry,
below, and the husband of Eleanor Frances Cooke,
née Kemp, born at Goodnestone, of
158, Union Rd., Dover, whom he had married on 1 August
1903. The couple had
three children, Eva Flora, born ion 30 June 1904,
Leonard Frank, born 2 May 1907, and Eleanor Violet Emma,
born on 23 March1912.
In 1911 the family were living at 6 Perseverance
Cottages, Union Road, Dover, and Frank was working as a
mason's labourer. In 1901 Frank was living at home with
his parents at 5 St James Street, still working as a
mason's labourer, as was his brother Arthur, then 17.
Two other brothers, Albert Frederick, and
Frederick, 3. were also there, with sisters Emma, 15,
Alice, 13, and Alma Helena Eva, 9, all born in Dover.
(We Remember 06)
400970. He was a farmer before he became a Private in the 10th battalion of the
Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment). On enlistment he
was 5 feet 4 inches tall, and described as having grey
eyes and dark brown hair.
He died of wounds
on 16 April 1916, at the age of 18, and lies at Lijssenthoek cemetery.
Belgium. He was the son of Charles
and Emma Cooke, of Dover, England, and brother to
Charles, Harry, and Frank
(We Remember 06)
Harry Cooke, 176138. He was a First Class
Stoker in the Royal Navy, on the HMS "Russell", after
having worked as an errand boy. In 1901 he was aboard
the "Terrible" at Weihaiwei, China. He died at the age of
38 on 27 April 1916. He is commemorated on the
Chatham Naval Memorial.
Born on 13 September 1978 at Godstone,
Surrey, he was the son of Charles
and Emma Cooke, and the husband of Martha J. Cooke, of
"The Rosary," Collingwood Road, Witham, Essex.
She was informed of his death at Railway Cottages, Mount
Messing, Siding Hutton, Essex.
Charles, Frederick, and Frank,
above, were his brothers. Mrs Beer, of 5 St James
Street, their sister, asked for their names to be placed on the Town
(We Remember 06)
Coombe. E. B.
Ernest Boucher Coombe, 11797, was a Private
in the 9th battalion of Devonshire Regiment. He is
commemorated on the War Memorial on the last panel to be
added, in the 1990s, and more about him is
Born at Torre, Torquay, in Devon, he
enlisted at Poplar, Middlesex. He died of wounds on 11th
November 1915, and is buried at the Bethune Town
Cemetery, France, IV F 90
Henry P. Coomber
was a Leading Stoker who survived the raid at Zeebrugge, on the HMS Vindictive. He was in the West
Indies at the outbreak of the war, and then at Mexico on
one of HM's ships, sent home, transferred to another,
and then went to the Dardanelles, and was present at the
evacuation of Gallipoli.
He was injured in the
Zeebrugge Raid, and was said to have been "never right"
subsequently. He died at the Royal
Naval Hospital in Great Yarmouth on 14th May 1922.
the son of Mrs Catherine Jane Wood, from 11 Bulwark Street, Dover.
She had remarried to Thomas Wood, an army pensioner born
in Kenton, Devon.
Constantine Coombs, J/20903, was an
Seaman in the Royal Navy, aboard HMS Natal. On 30 December 1915,
while the captain was host to a party on board, the
vessel suddenly exploded and then sank. Probably the
explosions occurred in the ammunition on board, possibly
owing to faulty cordite. 408 crew were lost, of whom
299, like Ernest, are commemorated on the Chatham
Naval Memorial, United Kingdom, panel 10. Some women and
children were also lost.
Ernest was born at Deal on 23 July 1896, and when he died
his mother, Alice Amelia, née Kinnear, who was born in France but was a
British subject, was living at 14 Leighton Road, Dover.
His father, Ernest Frederick, was a Sergeant in the Royal Marines Light
Infantry in 1901, when the family were living at Old
Stairs, Ringwould, Kent. They then had five children;
Ernest was the third son and fourth child. By 1911 the
family were living at Leighton Road, and Mr Coombs was
working as a canteen manager for a provision merchant.
The couple had married in 1889 and there were at least
twelve children in the family: Ivy Ada E, born in 1891,
Ernest William Geoffrey, 1894, Henry Aubrey A, 1895,
then Ernest, followed by Neville Cideric, about
1900, Philip Cyril F, about 1902, Iris Gertrude R
A, 1903, Phyllis Marjorie, 1904, Doris Adrienne N, 1905,
Barbara Muriel, about 1907, Raymond Douglas, 1908,
and Olive Lilian, 1909. Two further children had died
In Memoriam notices were inserted in the local paper
each year; in 1934 one read, "In
ever loving memory of our dear laddie, Ernest Coombs, lost
on HMS Natal, December 30th, 1915, aged 19 years".
Ernest's father is also buried in a war grave, at
Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery, Kent, grave E935. He
was 49 when he died from disease on 13 February 1917,
with the rank of Pensioner Sergeant in the Royal Marine
Light Infantry, no CH/2538. His grave is right. On the
foot of his headstone are the words, "Alice his wife 8th
September 1954 age 89. Raymond their son 1st May 1921
The further stone, in front of the headstone, reads,
"Olivia Gittins, born 1 November 1909, youngest daughter
of Frederick and Alice Coombs, died 3 June 1996".
This casualty could also
be: Ernest Augustus
Coombs, 38488, who was a Gunner in the RHA/RFA, and died of
wounds on 25th September 1914. He was born in London and
enlisted in Dover. See also the
Mark Frost pages for two
a picture of the
Natal is available - 2492/58
Cooper, A/200306, was a Rifleman in the 11th battalion
of the King's Royal Rifle Corps, and previously in the
2/4th Buffs. On 13th August 1917, he was killed in
action after 12 months at the Front, when he was 21. He
is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Belgium.
born and lived in Dover, but enlisted at Canterbury. His
parents were Frank and Matilda Ann Cooper, from 8
could be instead Royal Navy Leading Stoker Arthur
William Cooper, K/10234, from the HMS Invincible. He was
killed in action at the age of 23 at the Battle of
Jutland on 31 May 1916. He is commemorated on the
Portsmouth Naval memorial.
the son of Henry and Emily Cooper, from 9 Guildford
Lawn, Liverpool Street, Dover, and came from St Helen's,
the Isle of Wight.
Surnames C (part 1 of 3 - C to Clac) are
Surnames C (part 3 of
3 - Cop to end) are here