Rayleigh WW1 survivors

Information about some of the 113 men who returned

Viv Irvine


Links to the WW1 photo etc will be added shortly .... the photo and enlargements from it are to be found in the Wartime section of the RDCA index. Look under Topics and then click on Wartime. (Bob Stephen).

Link to the WW1 photo and its enlargements


A copy of the information is held by British Legion, Rayleigh; Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass & Rayleigh Windmill.

Some of these men I have not been able to trace in Army, Navy etc records, there are often several, if not hundreds, with the same name. If I have details wrong or you know more please let me know.

1911- census ; 1918 electoral roll – ‘missing voters list’ ; 1933 & 1938 Rayleigh Directory

KRRC- Kings Royal Rifle Corps ; MGC- Machine Gun Corps; RAMC- Royal Army Medical corps. LL- love Lane school

Viv Irvine



MGC: Machine Gun Corps

KRRC: Kings Royal Rifle Corps

RFA: Royal Field Artillery

LL: Love Lane


Back Row – from left to right

Charles Herbert Cork born 1888 in Wandsworth, son of Arthur & Alice. 1911 & 1918 living in Barringtons, Rayleigh. Married 1929 to Nancy Newton in Chelsea.

Enlisted in KRRC as private, promoted to 2nd Lieut. Awarded MC & then Captain in 1916.

MC- “for his efforts in saving wounded during an attack on German trenches he ventured into ‘no mans land’ as soon as he heard help was needed & succeeded in rallying the men returning from the raid “.

Taken prisoner by Germans March 1918, posted missing 14.4.18 & re-patriated 4.12.1918.

He died in London age 74 in 1963.

Stanley Adams Houghton born 1895 in Islington, son of Robert & Louise. Brother of Reginald (standing next to him) & Robert – not in photo as possibly still away.

All 3 brothers worked in father's Boot & Shoe shop in High St.

Married 1922 to Elsa Goring & had 3 children.

Enlisted in London Regiment, later Labour corps & served in France.

Died in Chichester age 90 in 1985.

Reginald Frederick Houghton born 1890 in Hackney. Brother of Stanley. Married Gertrude Fincham in Croydon in 1912, had 2 daughters & lived in Daws Heath Rd . 1918 family were living in ‘Sunnyside ‘ Hadleigh Rd.

He enlisted in London Regt. in 1916 & discharged 1919.

He died in 1921 age 31 & his widow re-married later that year.

John William Ernest Warren born 1872 in London son of James & Emily. Married 1897 Alice Dennis. 1912 to 1938 directories show him living White cottage, Wheatley's Rd as builder & Secretary of Rayleigh society.

Enlisted in Army as Ernest John – possibly in Labour corps.

Died 1961 age 89, living then in Castle Rd.

Ernest Laurie Long born 1886 in Edmonton, son of Stephen & Annie. 1891 mother widow & shown as an umbrella maker. Married 1907 to Ethel Rose Redbond. In 1911 he lived in Eastwood road & shown as umbrella & stick manufacturer.

He enlisted in RAMC & promoted to Corporal. Was granted Freedom of City of London as son of Stephen.

Died 1969 age 83 in Suffolk.

Arthur Charles Thomas born 1876 in Forest Hill son of George & Sarah. Married 1907 to Bess Stevens & had 1 daughter. 1911 living ‘Brookside ‘ Eastwood Rd, Rayleigh as Stock Exchange Clerk.

Enlisted at age of 42 to Army Service Corps, served in Etaples France as Asst Insp of Drafts Huts from 1916. Demobilised 1919 as Corporal.

Died 1927 age 51 , family still in Eastwood Rd.

Richard Edward Searle born 1882 in West Ham. Married 1907 to Isabella Frances Peck & had 2 children. 1911 living Stratford – Insurance Agent. So far no connection to Rayleigh unless wife the Alice in Leonard Drive in 1938.

Enlisted in Middlesex Regt. in 1915 & discharged Dec 1919.

Died 1928 age 46 in West Ham (several Richard Searles of right age but none seem to have any connection to Rayleigh).

Ernest Edward Long born 1871 in Bow. Married 1890 to Jeanette Cohen & 2nd time to Charlotte Bartlett in 1918. 1911 living Viola Villa, Lancaster Rd as Accountants clerk. 3 children attended Rayleigh (Love Lane) School.

He enlisted age 47 in 1918 to Essex Regt. & served in France. He has 2 more children by then. Two of sons Ernest William born 1893 & Harold Bernard born 1896 also served but not in photo.

In 1933 & 1938 living ‘Millfield‘ 84 Eastwood Rd.

Died 1946 age 74.

Herbert Victor Lake born 1897 in Norwich, son of Herbert Jonas & Alice May. Married in 1919 to Ada May Southgate (widow of Edwin Arthur Dines) in Ipswich. No link to Rayleigh yet found, unless through wife.

Probably in Machine Gun Corps.

Ada died in Ipswich 1966 age 77, he died 1962 age 64 in Ipswich.

William Henry Boreham born 1879 Billericay , son of Henry & Elizabeth. Married 1901 to Helen Hopton. 1911- Brewery Stores clerk living ‘Ingleboro’, High Rd. 1938 living ‘St Davids‘, Wheatleys Rd .

Enlisted – probably in ASC but not confirmed. 1918 still on active service.

Died 1956 age 76 in Hornchurch.

Ernest Charles Jordan born 1894 Hemley, Suffolk son of William & Lucy, brother of John Thomas (still serving in 1919). 1911 nursery worker & living ‘Daisy house ‘ Eastwood Rd. Married 1922 to Rose Long (daughter of Ernest Edward Long – in photo same row).

Enlisted in Army – possibly Essex Regt .

Died 1966 in Sunderland age 72.

Edward Arthur Harvey born 1894 Rayleigh, son of Edward Thomas & Emma Elizabeth. 1898 started Infant School. 1911 living in Back Lane [Bellingham Lane] – milkman. Married Elsie Mason in 1916. Daughter born 1917.

Enlisted 1916 to T R Battn, RABC. Discharged in 1919.

Died 1989 age 95 at Southend.

Albert Beardwell born 1889 in Nevendon, son of Nathan & Rosetta and brother of Walter( not in photo as still on active service ). Married 1910 to Florence Benson. 1911 living in London Hill as assistant butcher.

Enlisted in KRRC 1915 then transfer to MGC., address then Daws Heath Rd. Served in France. Discharged 1919.

Died 1970 age 81 .

Sidney George Dykes born 1884 in Walthamstow, son of John William & Eleanor Jane, brother of John William & Edwin (neither in photo as both still on active service). 1911 living in ‘Melrose’ Eastwood Rd with parents as apprentice plumber. Married 1921 to Dorothy Dale. 1933 living in ‘The Nest’ Eastwood Rd.

Enlisted 1915 to Royal Engineers. Served in France.

Died 1972 aged 77.

Graham George Crees born 1898 in Mountnessing, son of Charles & Ada, brother of Cecil Hugh (in photo – 4th row) 1911 living in ‘Bramshot House ‘ High St. Possible marriage in 1944 to Annie Stevens.

Enlisted in 1916 to South Staffs Regiment, wounded in 1917 & transferred to reserve - Royal Defence Corps.

Died in 1983 in Lancashire age 84.

Stanley Alwyn Makin born 1895 in Suffolk, son of John & Dorcas. Attended School in Rayleigh from 1901. 1911 lived ‘Hazeldene’ Hockley Rd with parents as apprentice engineer. Married in 1924 to Dorothy Britt & daughter at Love Lane school 1932, then living ‘Dorrit’ Hambro Hill.

Enlisted – probably RAMC, possibly RFA ??

Died 1978 age 84 in Wiltshire.

Wilfred George Byford born 1896 Rayleigh, son of John T & Mary A, brother of John Sylvian (in photo –front row). Attended Rayleigh infants from 1899, boys school from 1903. 1911 lived Ivy House with parents as bricklayer. Married 1920 to Violet Trevett. 4 children who also attended Love lane School. 1938 lived ‘Ingleboro ‘ High Rd.

Enlisted in KRRC wounded & awarded Silver War Badge (aged 21 y 171 days) discharged 15.9.17.

Died in 1983 age 87.

George Martin Kerkin born 1892 in W Ham, son of John & Fanny, twin brother of Vincent Graham who was killed in action 20.6.1917 at Ypres. 1911 living in Leyton as grocer. Married 1923 to Gertrude Hunt who later became assistant cook at Love Lane school. In 1933 & 1938 living ‘The Nook ‘ Leslie Rd.

He was unfit for military service & is in photo as the ‘representative ‘ of his brother.

He died in 1944 age 52.

John Henry Wilson born 1888 in Stratford, son of Edward & Emma. 1911 living in Love Lane with uncle , Ernest Baker, as cowman & milk roundsman.

Married 1913 to Kate Thorrington & had 6 children who attended Love Lane School. Then living in 2 Langley cottages, High Rd. Wife may also have worked at the school.

Enlisted – possibly in MGC – too many John H Wilsons to be sure.

Died 1964 age 76.

Richard Arthur Harvey born 1893 in Rayleigh son of Richard & Ellen & brother of Fred (in photo – 2nd row) George (not in photo- still on active service) & Frank Oscar (possibly in 5th row photo). Attended Rayleigh school from 1897 to 1906. 1911 in Weir cottages as van driver. 1933 living ‘Estevant ‘ Castle Rd.

Enlistment – possibly KRRC & as Sergeant.


2nd Row - from left to right

 John Alfred Horner born 1882 in Rayleigh, son of George & Eliza. Married 1905 to Eliza Thorogood. 1911 living Chequers Yard with 3 children, nurseryman. 1918 family still in Chequers Yard. 1938 lived 5 Hambro Hill.

Enlisted – possibly RGA, several same name.

Died 1951 age 69 at Brentwood.

Percy George Galley born 1878 Thundersley, on census with grandparents George & Eliza. Married 1899 to Alice Eliza Petchey. 1911 living High Rd, bricklayer; 1918 1 Range Cottage, High Rd; 1938 145 High St. 2 children. 

Enlisted 1916 to Labour corps age 37y 10m.

Died 1955 age 77.

Harold John White born 1890 Rayleigh, son of John & Fanny but 1901 in London with uncle age 10. 1911 stoker 2nd class in Royal Navy at Grimsby on HMS Kale. 1933 lived 3 Chequers Yard.

Died 1951 age 61- probate gives name as Harold John Sutton otherwise Harold John White of Park Lane Southend. All estate went to HM Treasury despite a newspaper appeal for relatives .

Philip Alfred Shelley born 1889 W Ham, son of Henry & Ellen. No trace yet found of any connection to Rayleigh. May be Alfred shown 1911 as born in Wakering & in Essex Regt in India.

Enlisted 1st Bedfordshire Regiment in 1914.

Died 1978 Waltham Forest age 89.

Ernest Arthur Cardy born 1884 at Runwell son of Alfred & Ellen. 1911 boarder at 1 Leonard cottages, Trinity Rd, nursery labourer. Married 1912 to Florence Rebecca Lone (sister of Frederick Lone- standing next to Ernest in photo). 3 children who attended Rayleigh school. 1918 1 Leonard Cottages; 1933 living Warwick Dene, Warwick Rd; 1938  ‘Roseneath’ Daws Heath Rd.

Enlisted 1916 Royal Garrison Artillery, wounded & discharged 1919.

Died 1948 age 61.

Frederick Harold Lone born 1895 in Rayleigh, son of Emmanuel Thomas & Florence. In school from 1899 to 1909. 1911 errand boy, living 1 Louisa Terrace, Down Hall Rd. Married 1922 to Lily Burrows. Children at Love Lane school 1923-25.

1938 lived ‘Dunster’ Love Lane.

Enlisted – RFA as driver.

Died 1978 age 82 at Southend.

Louis Herbert Barber born 1884 Rayleigh son of George & Rosanna.  Attended LL school from 1887 to 1890. Married 1904 to Kathleen Lucy Green. 1911 living Weir cottages, carpenter, with 3 children, 2 more born later, one emigrated to Australia, 1918 – family at Weir, 1938 ‘Ranworth ‘ Cheapside.

Enlisted - probably MGC, & discharged Sept 1918 after sickness.

Died 1959 age 75, still living Ranworth, Cheapside.

Herbert Charles Ward born 1895 at Mountnessing son of Charles & Alice. 1911 groom at Writtle. Married 1914 Daisy E Britton. 1 son at Love Lane school born 1915. 1933 living ‘The Alley’ Hockley Rd.

Not able to trace any military service so far.

Died 1944 age 50.

John Burrell born 1894 Hockley son of William & Mary. Attended LL school 1901- 1909. Father Railway driver. 1911 living Castle Rd, apprentice engineer.

Not able to confirm military service – possibly.

No date of death yet.

Frederick (Ernest )Harvey born 1897 Rayleigh son of Richard & Ellen & brother of George, Frank Oscar & Richard (see back row). 1911 Weir cottages, telegraph boy. Married 1928 Gladys M Punt.

Cannot guess at military service – over 300 medal cards for F Harvey.

Died 1970 age 73 Sutton, Gt London.

NB – also a Frederick Charles born about same time in Rayleigh.

Percy Reginald Pudney born 1899 in Rayleigh son of Joseph William & Elizabeth, brother of Thomas - still away 1919. Attended LL school 1903 to at least 1912. 1911 living in Hockley Rd. Married 1923 to Mary Manning. 1 child born 1925 when living in ‘Bridge house‘ Station approach; 1933 28 Station Rd; 1936 elect roll – 50 Grove Rd in Harringay.

No records in army etc for him, may have been there as representing his brother?

Died 1968 age 69 in Harringay.

Reuben John Polley born1897 in Southminster son of Arthur & Fanny. 1911 at industrial school at Farnborough. No date for marriage but in 1927 son at LL school & he was living at ‘Byways’ Bull Lane. Letter from family said his mother was one of ‘founders’ of Rayleigh branch of British Legion.

Enlisted MGC then transfer to Essex Regt.

Died 1975 age 77 at Southend.

John Charles Cable – born 1884 in Rayleigh son of John & Emily brother of Harry (in photo – front row). Member of Peculiar people. At LL school from 1886 to at least 1889. Married 1906 to Rose Reeve, children 1907 & 1909. 1911 general labourer living Castle Rd, still there 1918.

Not sure if enlisted in RFA as a driver or could have been as stretcher bearer .

Died 1963 age 80.

Leonard John Bell born 1881 Manor Park son of James & Emma. 1906 married Martha Hannah Pullen in Romford. 5 children. 1911 living in Ilford, farm labourer.

No connection to Rayleigh found yet.

Enlisted in Royal Engineers age 33 in 1915 (only 4’ 11” tall).

Died - either 1944 in Herts or 1957 Cambs.

J J Whalley – either James or John - brothers born 1886 /1892 sons of John. Lived in Eastwood Rd. ??

William Cable – born 1893 Rayleigh son of Louisa, but later living with Murrell family - ? mother re married. 1911 as a lodger in Castle Rd, 1901 as ‘adopted’ in Downhall Rd. Married 1919 to Lilian Blanche Shelley. 2 children attended LL school. From 1920- at least 1938 living ‘Oaklea’ Daws Heath Rd.

Enlisted 1914, bricklayer, to Royal Field Artillery but discharged after 37 days as “not likely to become an efficient soldier“. Next of kin – mother – Louisa living Ivy cottage Castle Rd.

Died 1962 age 69.

Bertie Edward Willsmore born 1897 Langford son of Frederick & Eliza. 1911 living at Stisted, farm labourer. Married 1923 to Frances A Harvey. 1932 son started LL, living ‘Holmlea’ Daws Heath Rd. 1938 living ‘Pinetree cottage ‘ Wheatleys Rd.

Enlistment probably to Manchester Regt.

Died 1981 age 84 at Southend.

Joseph Haywood Court born 1884 at Tooting son of Joseph & Mary J. 1911 living at Stratford - metal worker / street lamp maker. Married 1910 to Adeline Edith Herriot. Family tree has daughter born 1913.

Several possibilities for military service, could be RFA, Essex.

Died 1972 age 87 in Rochford District.

This page was added by Viv Irvine on 09/12/2014.
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