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Ash next Ridley War Memorial

The information below has been compiled mainly from the following sources:-
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website     Electoral Registers        Census Returns
Soldiers Died in the Great War – CD                Newspaper reports from local papers    Parish Registers
Ash cum Ridley W.I. Book compiled in 1957     Personal recollections by residents of Ash and Ridley

WWI 1914-1918       (Click on individual names to view known details)

Charles BENNETT  8th August 1918
William BENNETT  4th April 1915
Alfred Horace CHATFIELD 2nd Nov 1916
Abraham COLE 16th September 1916

Alfred [Deadman] DEDMAN possibly 9th September 1916 
Alec B HAMILTON Lieutenant possibly Aug 1918
William Alfred JAMES 9th May 1915
Angus McPHEE possibly May 1917

James JENKINS Not on War Memorial, but buried in Ash Churchyard.  Died at Ash 28th January 1918

WWII 1939-1945       (Click on individual names to view known details)

Richard Stoddart BENSON 21st January 1941
Charles Frederick EVANS 28th October 1944
Ernest Arthur FARNELL 31st March 1944 
David Barclay HENNELL 6th June 1943
Thomas B. HENNELL 5th November 1945

Frederick R. W. HOLLANDS 28th March 1942
Denis G. P. LEAVEY 28th July 1944
Charles G. SMITH 10th September 1941
Tommy WHITE 7th October 1943
Margaret J. SHARMAN (Civilian) 4th Oct 1940

This webpage is an ongoing effort to try and ensure that the above names remain as real people who once lived, worked and played in the parish. If you have any details, however small, about these people and their families, please email us at 

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At 11am on Monday 4th August 2014 eight wreaths where laid to commemorate the start of WWI

WWI 1914-1918
Charles BENNETT   was born about 1899. In the 1901 census he was aged 2 yrs living with parents William & Eliza Bennett, at the Post Office, Culverstone, Ash also with eight older brothers and sisters, one called William.
   The CWGC have him as Private G/69938 serving with the
10th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) and recorded as killed in action on 8th August 1918. He is listed on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen

William BENNETT  was born about 1888 in Stansted. He appears In the Southfleet Census for 1901 aged 12 years old and living with his uncle.
   The CWGC have him as Private L/8312 Killed in Action 4th April 1915. 1st Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) age 26. Cemetery: Tuileries British Cemetery, Leper, West-Vlaanderen, Belguim.  His next of kin was recorded as his mother Mrs Sarah Ann Roots, of Plumrush, Harvel, Meopham, Kent.

Alfred Horace CHATFIELD   The CWGC have only one Alfred Horace Chatfield listed as follows: Alfred Horace Chatfield, Private 57155 (formerly G/8863) Killed in Action 2nd November 1916.  9th Battalion, Welsh Regiment (formerly East Kent Regiment) No next of kin recorded. The GW-CD have the same, plus  Born: Sevenoaks, Enlisted: Gravesend Residence: Wrotham. Electoral Roll 1914 + 1915 – no Chatfield parents listed

Abraham COLE  The CWGC have Private G/9348 A. Cole Killed in Action 16th September 1916. 10th Bn Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). Son of John and Sarah Ann Cole, of Weald, Sevenoaks, Kent.  
1914 + 1915 Electoral Register has a John COLE at Pease Hill, Ash. A notice of his death in the Kent Messenger Newspaper for 21st Oct 1916 names his parents as Mr & Mrs John Cole, Man’s Farm, West Yoke

Alfred [Deadman] DEDMAN    A search of the CWGC website lists only three Alfred Dedman. Two have next of kin in Canvey Island, Essex and Caversham, near Reading, the third as follows. Private Alfred Dedman G/10997, 2nd Battalion, West Sussex Regiment Rank: Killed in Action
9th September 1916.  No next of kin recorded.
   The GW–CD lists  - Private Alfred [Deadman] Dedman G/10997 2nd Battalion, West Sussex Regiment, killed in Action 9th September 1916. No next of kin recorded. Born: Northfleet   Enlisted: Woolwich    Residence none recorded
Electoral Roll for Ash 1914 + 1915 – no Dadman family listed

Alec B HAMILTON  Lieutenant.  possibly died August 1918. A search of the CWGC website for A. B. Hamilton lists three, none of which seem likely. However a search with just A. Hamilton gives Alexander Hamilton Lieutenant. Royal Air Force Unit 3rd Sqdn. Aged 23, date of Death: 8th August 1918. Next of Kin: Parents, Thomas B. and Annie Brown Hamilton, of Eastwell Court, Ashford, Kent. Commonwealth War Dead Memorial  ARRAS FLYING SERVICES MEMORIAL.    1914 Electoral Roll of Ash lists Thomas HAMILTON, Idley Farm, Idley

William Alfred JAMES   Spr 19446 Killed in Action 9th May 1915. 7th Division Signal Coy., R.E.   Son of Mrs L. James, of 15, Ewart Rd, Chatham. His wife was recorded as Emily Pratt (formerly James) of The Street, Ash.
Ash Marriage Register 23 August 1913 William Alfred JAMES (21) & Emily PARKER (22)
1914 Electoral Roll for Ash lists Albert JAMES West Yoke, Ash.  Born about 1892 (1901 Census)

Angus McPHEE   A search the CWGC website lists nine Angus or A McPhee's. The GW-CD lists Private S/7191 Angus McPhee,  Killed in Action May 1917. 1/8th Battalion, Princess Louise’s (Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders).- Born: Archatton, Argylls      Enlisted: Bromley    Residence: Creagan, Argylls
1915 Electoral Register for Ash lists Dugald McPhee at the Malt House, Ash.
1914/1915 Newspaper Dartford Chronicle Roll of Honor lists Angus & Dugald McPhee, possibly brothers

James JENKINS  Private 8080, died at Ash 28th January 1918.  Buried in Ash Churchyard. No connection with Ash found todate. Born about 1887. No likely candidate found in 1901 Census.  
   The CWGC website lists him with No. 3 coy, 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards. Husband of Emily Harriet Jenkins, 28 Dorset Gardens, Brighton
   Ash Burial Register – James Jenkins, abode Post Office Ash, buried 1st February 1918.
CWGC Headstone in Ash Churchyard - age 31. 
G.R.O. search - Marriage – James Jenkins to Emily Harriett Ling - Ref 1913 Jun Depwade 4b 415
G.R.O. search – shows he had a son James W. Jenkins, (mothers maiden name Ling) - Ref 1914 Jun Willesden 3a 659

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WWII 1939-1945
Richard Stoddart BENSON, D.S.O., aged 47, was Captain of the destroyer "H.M.S. Exmouth" that was torpedoed  on 21st January 1940 in the North Sea, off the coast of Wick with the loss of all hands. He had lived at  Ash Place (Manor) before the war with his wife Cicely Katherine (nee Beauchamp). He was the Son of Henry and Maud Benson and is also commemorated on the PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL A full account of the sinking  is given by Bob Baird at "Sinking of the "H.M.S. Exmouth" 

Charles Frederick. EVANS aged 20, was the son Sidney Cecil and Beatrice Evans of Butlers Place, Ash. Charles was a Flight Sergeant Air Gunner, 186609, died 28th October 1944 while serving with R.A.F. Squadron 356 equipped with Liberator Bombers, that was based Salbani, India. Attacks on Japanese bases in Burma, Sumatra and Malaya were carried out. C.F. Evans is buried in the RANCHI WAR CEMETERY

Ernest Arthur FARNELL aged 28 years, was married to Alfreda Joyce BEVAN at Ash Church on 12th December 1942, and lived at 4, Billet Cottages, Ash.  Alfreda died in the summer of 2007, never having re-married.
   Ernest was a Flight Sergeant, Service No. 1390007, and served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Unit 630 Sqdn. Based at East Kikby, Spilsby, Lincolnshire, part of 5 Bomber Group. On the night of 30th March 1943 he flew as navigator on Lancaster JB288, piloted by Pilot Officer A.G.C. Johnson on an air-raid on Nuremberg, Germany. There were very heavy losses that night and early in the morning of the 31st March, their plane was shot down by a German night-fighter about 20 miles north of Nuremburg. Ernest A. Farnell, Johnson, and two other members of the aircrew, Flight Sergeant McGill and Sergeant France were killed and are buried in
DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY. Flying Officer Headlam, Sergeant Watts and another crew member survived the crash and were taken prisoner.

David Barclay HENNELL aged 32, son of Rev Harold Barclay Hennell former vicar of Ash and Ethel Hennell, was a Captain, 198377, in The King’s Royal Rifle Corps died 6th June 1943 in the U.K. and is buried at Ridley.

Thomas Barclay HENNELL aged 42, son of Rev Harold Barclay Hennell former vicar of Ash and Ethel Hennell, was granted a Temporary Commission as a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Unit on becoming a war artist in 1944. He visited Cherbourg Harbour amongst other places following the Allied Invasion of France. He then went to the Far East as a war artist covering the campaign against the Japanese and was killed by terrorists in Indonesia on 5th November 1945 soon after the end of WWII.

Frederick R. W. HOLLANDS aged 24, son of Albert and Agnes Hollands; husband of Stella Minnie Grace Hollands, of Ash. Served as a stoker, service number C/KX 120816, on H.M.M.L. (possibly Her Majesties Mine Layer or Motor Launch) 262. He died on 28th March 1942 and is commemorated on the CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL
   In an account of the raid on St Nazaire on 28th March 1942 a ML 262 is mentioned several times at

Denis George Patrick LEAVEY

Denis George Patrick LEAVEY aged 33, son of George Edmund and Marion Louise Leavey of South Ash Manor and husband of Mary Alicia Leavey, of Fareham, Hampshire, died 28th July 1944. 
   He served as a Captain, service number 90278, with "A" Sqn., 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, Royal Armoured Corps. After Dunkirk he transferred to the 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards (the regiment in which his brother Tony Leavey was already serving). He was killed after taking a party of men up to Jerusalem crossroads, not far from Bayeux, to look at a burnt out German tank and was hit by German shelling of the crossroads. His body was taken to the nearby Abbaye Mondaye, and he was subsequently buried in the BAYEUX WAR CEMETERY. Before the war he had been an enthusiastic amateur jockey, and for many years the West Kent Foxhounds point-to-point open race was named after him and a "Pat Leavey Memorial Trophy" awarded to the winner
(Additional infor
mation and picture supplied by Shaun Leavey, son of Pat Leavey 25-08-2016)

Charles George SMITH aged 35, Son of Sidney and Alice Smith of Rose Cottage, Ash and husband of Lena K. Smith, of Gillingham. He was a Petty Officer Stoker, service number C/K 66780, on H.M.S. Candyytuft and died 10th September 1941 as the result of an explosion that occurred within twenty-four hours of leaving Reykjavik, Iceland where she had docked for a major refit. Fourteen men were killed and eleven injured as a result of the explosion.

Tommy WHITE aged 25, son of Harry and Alice Rosa White, of Butlers Place, Ash. He was a Private, service number 6290311 and served with The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment). He died on 7th October 1943 and is buried in BARI WAR CEMETERY, Southern Italy.
   On 3 September 1943 the Allied invasion of the Italian mainland began with a landing in the south near Reggio and, a few days later, in the Gulf of Salerno

Margaret Jane SHARMAN (Civilian) Aged 10, daughter of Henry Harold and Lily Sharman, of 18 Butlers Place, Ash and died 4th October 1940 when a high explosive bomb fell at the back of Butlers Place during the 'Battle of Britain'

   This webpage is an ongoing effort to try and ensure that the above names remain as real people who once lived, worked and played in the parish. If you have any details however small about these people and families, please email us at 

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© Kent Archaeological Society November 2006, updated 8th November 2007 

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