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Weston-super-Mare, Somerset 1 month 2 weeks ago #82586

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In St John the Baptist Church, the parish church of Weston-super-Mare. The tablet was unveiled on the 10th of April 1903.
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TO THE MEMORY OF
THE MEN OF WESTON SUPER MARE
WHO DIED FOR THEIR QUEEN AND COUNTRY
IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR
1899 - 1902.
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...........................................CLAUDE H. HINTON.............LIEUT. 2ND BATT. EAST SURREY
...........................................FRANK BRYANT....................SERGT. 2ND BATT. GREN. GUARDS
...........................................ERNEST E, CRIDLAND.........TROOPR. KITCHENER'S FIGHTING SCOUTS.
...........................................CHARLES R. COUSEN.................".........NORTH SOM. YEOMANRY
...........................................ERNEST FLOWER........................".........IMP. YEOMANRY
...........................................FREDERICK C. FRENCH.......PRIVATE 2ND BATT. WILTS. REGT.
...........................................FREDERICK C. TRIPP..................."........1ST DRAGOON GUARDS
...........................................HARRY LOVELL............................".........SOUTH WALES BORDERERS.
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PRO DEO REGE ET PATRIA



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I was able to have just under 100 minutes in Weston Library looking for reports on the men's deaths, and managed to find something for everyone, except Trooper Cridland. Perhaps news of his death took longer to reach Weston than the others had, so there may well still be something to find on him. I've also included a few snippets on other Weston men that I came across.
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....We regret to record the fact that the first Westonian has fallen in the deadly struggle which our Army is waging against the Boers—an officer of conspicuous promise and the greatest gallantry. The ill-fated gentleman is Lieut. C. H. Hinton, of the 2nd East Surrey Regiment—son of Mr Hinton, of Atlantic-road, in this town—who was killed on the 22nd inst., whilst advancing with General Buller's force to the relief of Ladysmith. The lithe, soldierly figure of Lieut. Hinton was familiar to Westonians generally, whilst by those possessing his acquaintance he was held in the sincerest esteem and popularity. Despite their severe bereavement, the family have the consolation of knowing that the young officer died the noblest of all deaths—that encountered in the defence of his Queen and country.
The Weston Gazette, Saturday 3rd March 1900
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DEATHS.
HINTON.—February 23, killed in action, Natal, Claude H. Hinton, aged 27 years, Lieutenant 2nd Battn. East Surrey Regiment, son of Brigade-Surgeon Hinton, of Doonholme, Weston-super-Mare.
The Weston Gazette, Saturday 10th March 1900
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DEATH OF A WESTON SOLDIER AT THE FRONT.
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PATHETIC PARTICULARS.
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....It is with sincere regret that we have to record the death of Private Frederick Charles French—son of Mr C. French, of Hill-road, in this town—of the 2nd Wiltshire Regiment, the sad event occurring at Bloemfontein on the 28th May as the result of an attack of enteric fever. Private French—who at the time of his death had not completed his nineteenth year—was an old Christ Church schoolboy and when he enlisted in the 2nd Wiltshires some two years since he was but following family tradition, his grandfather being a Crimean Veteran who held two medals and three bars, and who was severely wounded at the famous Battle of the Alma, whilst his uncle—an armoury sergeant in one of the crack Highland Regiments—fought throughout the Burmese campaign—being wounded on several occasions—and who—as his nephew has now done—eventually met with his death from fever, after a service of 17 years and 9 months. Private French after being garrisoned for a short time at Devizes, served a short time in the Channel Islands, afterwards returning to Woolwich where he plied his trade as one of the regimental smiths. Shortly after the outbreak of war in South Africa the 2nd Wiltshires were ordered to the front and they subsequently saw plenty of fighting. Pte. French took part in no less than seven engagements and was present at the relief of Kimberley as well as the surrounding and capture of the notorious Cronje and his force at Paardeburg. The Wiltshires then accompanied Lord Roberts to Bloemfontein, and from thence in the direction of Kroonstadt, where Pte. French was stricken down with enteric fever. He was thereupon invalided back to Bloemfontein, where he succumbed, the first intimation of the sad event reaching the parents in the columns of a daily paper. They subsequently received an official confirmation of the news through the medium of the War Office, the notification expressing the sympathy and regret of the Commander-in-Chief. Only a short time prior the parents had received a letter from their son, wherein, in all the hopefulness of young manhood, he jubilantly quoted the opinion of his Colonel that, with the Boers fleeing in all directions, the end would speedily come and the Wiltshires be ordered home, when he would be enabled to once more meet his parents. He also gleefully alluded to the latter's promise to preserve a Christmas pudding for him—the lack of which at Christmastide, he added, was regarded by the Tommies generally as one of the principal of their privations. The blow has naturally come with great force to the bereaved parents, to whom general sympathy is expressed. Their loss of course is irreparable but in the medal with four clasps, to which their son was entitled (and which will be subsequently forwarded them) they will possess a token of the fact that such loss was produced by the noblest of all deaths—that of a soldier engaged in defending the honour of his Queen and the grand old flag of his country.
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DEATHS.
FRENCH.—May 28, at Bloemfontein, of enteric, Private F. C. French (2nd Wiltshire Regiment), son of Mr C. French, of this town.
The Weston Mercury, Saturday 9th June 1900
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....Last week we had to record the death of a Weston soldier at the front, and it is now our painful duty to announce a second, it appearing from an official list published this week that Private H. Lovell, of the South Wales Borderers, has succumbed to enteric fever. He was the son of William Lovell, of New-street, in this town. The name and regimental number both correspond with those of Private Lovell, and an intimation from the War Office to the parents removes all possibility of doubt.
The Weston Gazette, Saturday 16th June 1900
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TWO WESTONIANS MISSING AT THE FRONT.
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....The announcement that two Weston soldiers are reported "missing," subsequent to the attack made in overwhelming umbers by the Boers on the construction column at Leeuwspruit—some 30 miles north-east of Kroonstadt—on the 14th inst., has been hailed with considerable regret locally. The men in question are two members of the local Engineer Corps who volunteered for active service with the Devon and Somerset Engineers detachment at the front—Sapper F. G. Kirton and Sapper B. Butt. Their fellow volunteers from Weston, Sappers Rawle and Tinklin appear to have experienced greater fortune and were able to subsequently report themselves. Sapper Kirton, prior to proceeding to the front, was in the employ of Mr S. E. Harvey, builder, whilst Sapper Butt (a native of Uphill), was employed by Mr H. C. Sleep, house decorator, &c.—both men being highly popular amongst the members of "F" Co., who some four or five months since, united in giving their departing comrades a most enthusiastic "send-off." That the word "missing" may be found to have no greater signification hereafter, will be the earnest wish of all Westonians. In the engagement in question—apart from killed and wounded—the "missing" total 55.
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DEATHS.
LOVELL.—June 8, at Deelfontein, South Africa, of enteric fever, Private H. Lovell, South Wales Borderers, only son of W. M. Lovell, of this town, aged 32 years.
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....Pte Fisher, of this town, who, as a Reservist rejoined the 2nd Somersets, is now invalided home from the front as the result of a severe attack of enteric.
....Pte Treago, another 2nd Somerset Reservist, has already arrived in Weston invalided home from the front.
....Pte Frank Smart, of the 2nd Dorsets—son of Mr Oliver Smart, of this town—was severely wounded in the gallant charge which that regiment made at Almond's Nek.
....Pte F. Branchflower, of this town, has also arrived home, invalided from a wound received whilst advancing with Buller's force through Natal. He had been previously wounded in the historic capture of Dargai Heights.
The Weston Gazette, Saturday 23rd June 1900
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DEATH OF SERGT. FRANK BRYANT AT PRETORIA.
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PATHETIC TERMINATION OF A PROMISING CAREER.
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....It is not too much to assert that quite a gloom was cast over the town on Thursday as a result of the announcement made in the casualty list emanating from the War Office of the death from enteric fever, at Pretoria, of Sergt. Frank Bryant, of the 3rd Grenadier Guards. Probably nine out of every ten Westonians of the younger generation knew Frank Bryant, and to know him was to hold him in respect and the highest personal regard; his friends had followed his career and rapid promotion in the Army with keen interest, and many have been the prophecies uttered in connection with his future prospects. Now, however—after emerging scathless from some of the deadliest battles recorded on the pages of our Empire's history—he is peacefully lying out in the sun-scorched veldt, side by side with many another gallant hero who for Queen and country has fought unto the death, but even the glory and honour surrounding a soldier's grave cannot appreciably assuage the poignant regret of the few who have lost a dear relative, or the many who have lost so close a friend. Sergeant Bryant—who was the son of the late Mr Jonas Bryant—in his civilian days was an adept at practically all kinds of sport. As captain of the famous old Weston Harlequins Football Club, he was the idol of the "gate"—who did not fail to appreciate his keenness in the game as well as the modesty with which he invariably regarded his own achievements—whilst he also at a later date rendered splendid service to the Town Club. As a "sprinter," he was only upon the track for one season, but in that time he won numerous prizes at the principal athletic gatherings in the West of England, spacious case of handsome trophies now in the care of his relatives bears witness. He was also to the fore on the range, for, as a corporal in the local "B" Co., he was one of the crack shots of the corps, and won a number of prizes, whilst the assiduity with which he pursued his duties is attested by the fact that during his five years of volunteering he did not miss a single drill. Less than eight years since he joined the 3rd Grenadier Guards—with a recommendation from his major of which any volunteer might well be proud—and the thoroughness and grasp of technical matters which he manifested were responsible for his promotion as sergeant in record time, and generally his prospects were regarded as of the brightest possible description. Prior to the outbreak of hostilities in the Transvaal, the 3rd Grenadiers were temporarily stationed at Gibraltar, but on the declaration of war, they were despatched to the front as a portion of General LOrd Methuen's column. In connection with this force, Sergt. Bryant took part in the great battles of Belmont, Graspan, Modder River, and Magersfontein, and subsequently as the column advanced he took part in the fighting at Paardeburg, the relief of Kimberley, the occupation of Bloemfontein, and finally at the fall of Pretoria,shared the honour with his comrades of being the first of the British force to enter that capital. Throughout the desperate fighting in which he took part, Sergeant Bryant appeared to bear a charmed existence, the pluck which he exhibited being commented upon in several communications which have been received home, and therefore—now that fighting is practically over—it is all the more regrettable that fell disease has claimed him victim and denied to him participation in the honour which England would have showered upon her returned heroes. On reading the announcement of his death in the newspapers on Thursday morning, Sergt. Bryant's brothers at once telegraphed to the War Office in the hope that some mistake had been made in transmission, only, however, to later in the day receive the following confirmatory wire—"Regret 4273, Sergt. F. Bryant, 3rd Grenadier Guards, died from enteric fever at Pretoria on 21st June." During the day large crowds of townspeople assembled outside Messrs Roe's establishment, wherein was displayed a magnificent enlarged photo of the deceased, at the foot of the sombre-hued frame being placed a mourning card, whereon was inscribed the sad news, and nothing could have more pointedly testified to the love in which the departed soldier was held, than the sympathetically appreciative words which fell from the mouths of the spectators. Sergt. Bryant whilst at the front never forgot his football, swimming and volunteering friends: his letters to his relatives were naturally longer, but many an old friend's heart has been gladdened by the receipt of a hurried note from his old chum, written sometimes immediately before an engagement and sometimes in hurried snatches after the long hours of danger had temporarily passed. In one of his letters which we were recently enabled to publish he referred to the awful solemnity of seeing departed comrades laid to their last long rest, when a few hours previously they had been full of life and vigour. Brave man as he was he had that best gift of an Englishman—a sympathetic heart, and now that he has departed from the blood-stained arena of war into the great Kingdom of Peace, the solemnity which filled his being will find a more than responsive beat in the hearts of the hundreds who loved him well.
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....Considerable alarm has been occasioned locally by yesterday's announcement that Pte. 22827 W. Curtis, Royal Engineers, had died from enteric fever at Capetown on July 2nd. The son of Mr S. H. Curtis, of this town, and who is supposed to be at Capetown, possesses the same initial, but the number differs slightly from that given above. Let us hope that the identity of the defunct Engineer will have no connection locally.
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DEATHS.
BRYANT.—June 21, at Pretoria, of enteric fever, Sergeant Frank Bryant, 3rd Grenadier Guards, son of the late Jonas Bryant, of this town.
The Weston Gazette, Saturday 7th July 1900
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....BRAVERY AT THE FRONT.—Private Tripp, of the Grenadiers, a Reservist, who went out to the front from Weston-super-Mare, has been recommended for distinguished service, with a handful of other Britishers, who successfully repelled an attack made by 400 Boers on Boxing Day. The effectiveness and persistency of the rifle fire of the small party of less than two dozen men held the Boers in check, and eventually the enemy were driven off.
Western Daily Press, Monday 25th February 1901
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....BACK FROM THE WAR.—Sapper F. G. Kirton. of the local F Company Volunteer Engineers, has just returned home from South Africa. Kirton, with Sapper Butt, of Uphill, was captured at Nelspruit by De Wet last summer in a train disaster. Kirton was subsequently laid up with enteric fever, and was invalided home.
Western Daily Press, Monday 4th March 1901
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WESTONIANS IN ACTION AT VLAKFONTEIN.
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TROOPER C. R. COUSINS KILLED.
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TROOPER "JACK" FLOWER MISSING.
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....During the early stages of the present war the many gallant sons which Weston had sent, either as Volunteers or Regulars, to assist in the maintenance of the nation's honour in South Africa, appeared to experience singular immunity considering the severity of the ordeal in which they were participating. Until a week since only two were resting out on the veldt in that noblest of all noble tombs—a soldier's grave, but unhappily the official casualty list following the engagement at Vlakfontein with Commandant Kemp's force and issued on Wednesday morning revealed the sad fact that a third Westonian has also fallen in battle. We refer to Trooper Chas. Reginald Cousins, eldest son of Mrs Cousins, of Worlebury-lodge, Camp-road, in this town. There were several circumstances which perhaps render the occurence even more sad than either of the two previous deaths to which we have alluded. In the first place the deceased trooper had only barely attained his twentieth year; secondly, he was the eldest son of their mother, who is a widow; and, thirdly, the shock was rendered additionally severe to the bereaved parent in consequence of her gaining the first intimation of her son's death through the columns of a daily paper on Wednesday morning. The War Office authorities have on many previous occasions been deservedly subjected to severe criticism on account of the dilatory manner in which they have notified parents and friends of casualties, and in the present instance they again deserve the greatest censure. Until late on Wednesday evening not the slightest intimation had been received from that quarter by the family as to their bereavement, despite the fact that Lord Kitchener's cablegram, giving the full list of the killed, wounded, and missing men in the Vlakfontein engagement had been received at the War Office on the morning of the previous day. Trooper Cousins was educated at Brean Villa School and at the College, in this town, and was held in the highest regard by a great number of friends. At the beginning of the year, when an appeal was made for the raising of a further contingent of the North Somerset Yeomanry for South Africa, Trooper Cousins was one of the first to respond to such appeal, eventually sailing in the transport Avondale Castle. On arriving at Cape Town he at once proceeded up country and joined the regiment, subsequently participating in the hard work accomplished, and which, so far as he was concerned, was to be brought to such a tragic termination on the field at Vlakfontein. His letters home were those of a typical healthy-spirited young Englishman; naturally enough, he was not particularly enamoured with the privations which had to be experienced, but he referred to them with a philosophical absence of grumbling, whilst of the excitements of the work he frequently expressed delight. None of the Westonians who went out with the first draft of the Imperial Yeomanry appear to have been present at the engagement—indeed, latest advices from the War Office favour the assumption that the men are proceeding down country preparatory to embarking for home—but only those who went out with the latter contingent. The British force—comprising 1,450 men and seven guns—appears to have been returning to camp when the rearguard of some 300 men and two guns were attacked by the enemy under cover of a veldt fire. Six British officers and 51 men were killed, and six officers and 115 men were returned as missing, whilst the enemy left 41 dead on the field. Trooper Cousins was removed mortally wounded into camp, but died shortly after arrival thither.
....Throughout the town the most sincere sympathy is being extended Mr and Mrs A. E. Flower, of "Innisfayre," Severn-road, in the position of painful suspensein which they are placed as a result of their son, Trooper "Jack" Flower being returned as missing in connection with the Vlakfontein engagement. When the casualty list was issued containing the name of "Trooper E. Flower" a question of identity arose in the minds of many, for the affectionate appellation of "Jack" bestowed upon him in younger life had become so familiarized as to be regarded by the majority of his friends and acquaintances as an actuality, whilst the doubt thus existing was further strengthened as a result of a typographical error in other papers reproducing the surname as "Fowler." Unfortunately however, identity proved to be established all too correctly. The parents lost no time in wiring the War Office authorities with the view to gaining subsequent tidings but, up to the present, the only information received by the officials is summed up in the solitary word "missing," so that the fate of the young Westonian is still uncertain. Should he have perished many will have lost a true and kindly-hearted friend,—one whose frankness of disposition infallibly invited regard. Trooper Flower who, as will be remembered, rendered splendid service on the field to the College cricket and football teams and also to the Weston Association Football Club, sailed for the front some four months since after joining the North Somerset Imperial Yeomanry. That news may be ultimately received of his safety will be the general wish of our readers.
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IN MEMORIAM.
LOVELL.—In loving memory of my dear brother, Private H. Lovell, 2nd South Wales Borderers, who died 8th June, 1900, at Deelfontein, South Africa, of enteric fever, aged 32 years.
.....................He is gone from this vale of tears,
.....................His sorrows and sins are all o'er;
.....................He has entered the land of the blest,
.....................And now sleeps on the golden shore.
The Weston Mercury, Saturday 8th June 1901
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....VOLUNTEERS AT THE FRONT.—The list of casualties in connection with last week's battle at Vlakfontein contains the names of two Westonians. Private C. R. Cousens, who was killed, and Private E. Flower, who is missing. The name of Cousens is not spelt quite correctly in the list, and the family entertain hopes that it is not their relative who has been killed In the case of Private Flower, however, his parents have received a letter from the War Office stating that their son is missing. Flower was for some time engaged in Weston, Bristol, and Swansea offices, and his friends hope they may yet hear good tidings of him.
Western Daily Press, Saturday 8th June 1901
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DEATHS.
TRIPP.—February 10, at Lindley Hospital, South Africa, Trooper Frederick Charles Tripp, 1st Dragoon Guards, eldest son of Albert Tripp, and late bugler in the local Engineer Corps, aged 18 years and three months.
The Weston Mercury, Saturday 22nd February 1902
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MEMORIAL TO WESTON SOLDIERS
....A service for men only was held last evening at the Parish Church, Weston-Super-Mare, and the attendance included representatives of public bodies and the local Volunteer corps. The occasion was utilised for the unveiling of a memorial tablet, erected by the Rector (Preb. De Salis) and Lady Mary De Salis, to the memory of local men who fell in South Africa. The following is the inscription: - "To the memory of the men of Weston-Super-Mare who died for their Queen and country in the South African War, 1899-1902: - Claude H. Hinton, lieutenant, 2nd Battalion East Surrey; Frank Bryant, sergeant, 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards; Ernest E. Cridland, trooper, Kitchener's Fighting Scouts; Charles R. Cousen, trooper, North Somerset Yeomanry; Ernest Flower, trooper, Imperial Yeomanry; Frederick C. French, private, 2nd Battalion Wilts. Regiment; Frederick C. Tripp, private, 1st Dragoon Guards; Harry Lovell, private, South Wales Borderers." On the base of the plinth is carved "Pro Deo Rege et Patria."
Evening Express, Saturday 11th April 1903
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....The memorial to the fallen soldiers of Weston- super-Mare, which was unveiled in the parish church on Friday by the Rev. Preb. Charles De Salis, is of excellent workmanship, and is composed of English alabaster. At the side, carved in high relief, is a soldier in khaki with reversed arms, and upon a raised scroll in well formed characters occurs the following inscription:—"To the memory of the men of Weston-super-Mare who died for their Queen and country in the South African war, 1889-1902. Claude Harrington Hinton, lieutenant 2nd Batt. East Surrey: Frank Bryant, sergeant, 2nd Batt. Grenadier Guards; Ernest Edward Cridland, trooper, Kitchener's Fighting Scouts; Charles Reginald Cousen, trooper. North Somerset Yeomanry; Ernest Flower, trooper, Imperial Yeomanry; Frederick C. French, private, 2nd Batt. Wilts Regiment; Frederick C. Tripp, private, 1st Dragoon Guards; Harry Lovell, private. South Wales Borderers. 'Pro Deo, Rege, et Patria.'" The work has been carried out by Messrs Harry Hems and Sons, the widely known sculptors of Exeter. The same firm are this week sending to Naauwpoort, Cape Colony, memorials to eighty-five different regiments.
Western Daily Press, Wednesday 15th April 1903
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