Tag Archives: remembrance

Remembrance 2010: Arthur BOXALL (1892-1916)

10 Nov

This year I am remembering the six members of the BOXALL family recorded on the war memorial in the parish church at West Dean (near Chichester), Sussex.

The identity of Arthur BOXALL on the West Dean war memorial is not absolutely clear. This is largely due to a lack of evidence, neither the Commonwealth War Grave Commission website or Soldiers Died in the Great War provide any information on his parentage or his age.

What is clear is from both of those sources is that Arthur was a private in the 1/4th Battalion Hampshire Regiment, his regimental number was 280201, and he died on the 23rd August 1916 in Mesoptamia. Soldiers Died in the Great War gives his full name as Arthur Thomas BOXALL, his place of birth as Stedham, Sussex (about seven miles north of West Dean), his residence as Chichester, Sussex and that he enlisted at Petersfield, Hampshire. Petersfield is not that many miles as the crow flies from West Dean or Chichester.

It seems likely, but is by no means certain, that Arthur was the son of George and Rosa BOXALL of West Dean, making him the brother of Alfred BOXALL that I wrote about yesterday. As there is no age or date of birth recorded I cannot be certain, Arthur Thomas BOXALL was the youngest of George and Rosa’s eight children, being baptised the 6th March 1892 at West Dean.

Of course Stedham is not far away from West Dean, but it does introduce an element of doubt, as does the fact that he enlisted at Petersfield, rather than Chichester where he was living. I obviously need to spend some more time trawling through newspapers trying to find some mention of his death.

As well as West Dean war memorial Alfred BOXALL is remembered at Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Iraq.

Remembrance 2010: Alfred BOXALL (1882-1915)

9 Nov

This year I am remembering the six members of the BOXALL family recorded on the war memorial in the parish church at West Dean (near Chichester), Sussex.

Alfred BOXALL’s death was recorded in the local newspaper the West Sussex Gazette on the 6th May 1915:

BOXALL.- Killed in action at Neuve Chapelle, Alfred, 2nd Royal Berks Regt., third son of the late George and Rose Boxall, of West Dean, Chichester, age 33.

This contains the useful information that Alfred was the son of George and Rose BOXALL and was aged 33. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission also records these facts and provides his date of death as the 15th March 1915, along with some additional details of his military service:

Son of the late George and Rose Boxall, of 99, West Dean, Chichester. Served in the South African Campaign, and in India.

Unfortunately the service record for Alfred BOXALL doesn’t appear to have survived, but Soldiers Died in the Great War provides the fact that he enlisted at Chichester, Sussex which makes sense for a man from West Dean. The mention of service in the South African Campaign and India and his relatively early date of death, suggests that he had enlisted well before the outbreak of the First World War.

In the 1911 census we discover that Alfred was serving with the 1st Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment in Rawalpindi, Punjab, India. I have been unable to find Alfred in the 1901 census, which suggests that he may well have been serving in South Africa at the time. His medal index card records that as well as the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, Alfred was also awarded the 1914 Star, his qualification being entry into the theatre of war on the 6th November 1914.

Alfred was baptised Alfred Wilton BOXALL at St. Andrew’s Church, West Dean on the 1st October 1882, he was actually the fourth son of George and Rosa BOXALL, although the suggestion that he was the third son is not that far from the truth because one Alfred’s elder brothers died aged four years old, so he was actually the third surviving son.

As well as West Dean war memorial Alfred BOXALL is remembered on Le Touret Memorial in France.

Remembrance 2010: West Dean War Memorial

8 Nov

This year I will be remembering the six members of the BOXALL family in West Dean (near Chichester), Sussex who gave their lives during the First World War and are commemorated on the war memorial in St. Andrew’s Church, West Dean.

The memorial itself features the names of 26 men who lost their lives during the First World War and a further tablet remembers six men who died during the Second World War.





Unfortunately I have not been able to discover when this memorial was actually unveiled, nothing in the parish records seems to relate to it. My only chance of finding out more would seem to be a time-consuming trawl through local newspapers, which I will get around to one day unless anyone else happens to know.

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 41

10 Oct

Last week got off to a slow start, or rather it got off to a very quick start and before I knew it I was half-way through the week and hadn’t really achieved much. This spurred me into action and although I didn’t really achieve a great deal I did come to a decision about yet another new project that I want to start.

My recent visit to West Dean, Sussex has brought the project into focus, but it was something that I had been meaning to start for a long time. I had been intending to write a series of blog posts about the BOXALLs of West Dean remembered on the parish war memorial, the plan was for this to be in time for Remembrance Day this year.

There are six BOXALLs mentioned on the war memorial and at least four of them are related to me. My plan is to fill in some details on my family tree and hopefully identify my relationship to all six of the men, and provide some details on them and their service. So I am going to kill two birds with one stone, fill in some details on my family tree and generate some material for a few blog posts.

I have no doubt that I will still find other things to distract me whilst carrying out the research on this particular project, hopefully this focus will encourage me to get on with some research and I am already planning to visit the West Sussex Records Office and Chichester Library in the next couple of weeks. There is much I can do online as well, and there is a lot that I need to do before I go the WSRO.

Remembrance: Ernest Arthur TROWER (part three)

10 Nov

Ernest Arthur TROWER (small)This handsome looking young man is my 2x great-uncle Ernest Arthur TROWER. He was the son of Ebenezer and Annie TROWER, who was born in Sayers Common, Sussex in 1895. He was baptised in the parish church at Sayers Common on the 13th October 1895. His life was tragically cut short when he was killed in action in France on the 23rd September 1917, aged 22 years old.

With such a shortage of official information on the military service of Ernest I had to seek the smallest of clues wherever I could find them, including any surviving family documents. Fortunately there were two items which provided further information, which may seem quite trivial, but anything might help in the search to learn more.

The first is the picture at the top left of this post. The front of the photo gives us some collaborating evidence about his regiment, the badge of his left shoulder (you won’t be able to make it out even if you click on the photo to enlarge it, you’ll just have to take my word for it) reads CYCLIST. In this case however the back of the photo is more helpful. Although the photo was actually printed with a postcard back, it was obviously never used as such.

Ernest Arthur TROWER (reverse)

I suspect the handwriting is that of Ernest’s brother Percy, and the information contained matches with what is already known from other records, with the exception of one piece which doesn’t appear to be recorded elsewhere. The item in question is the fact that Ernest was in ‘C’ Company. This may seem trivial, but from reading the battalion war diary it is clear that the different companies were engaged in different activities on the 23rd September 1917 when Ernest was killed.

Another possible avenue of research comes from the details on the left hand edge of the card. It may be worth trying to find out if any records survive from the photographer, W. Dennis Moss of Cirencester, possibly (but very unlikely) some of his records may have survived and by checking the number 2492 I might be able to find out when Ernest was in Cirencester getting his photo taken.

The second piece of evidence is another postcard, this was sent by Ernest to his sister Mabel. Given that the subject of the card is a view of the village of Chiseldon, and although the postmark is not complete it was probably sent from Chiseldon Camp in Wiltshire. Fortunately the date on the postmark is clearer, 22nd October 1916. Given that the Army Cyclist Corps trained at Chiseldon Camp, it seems quite likely that Ernest was still in training on the 22nd October 1916.

Chiseldon (back)

The message itself reads: Dearest Mabel. Thanks for letter, sorry you could not get home I had a grand time, excuse p. card but have got behind with letter writing, so will write when I get time, they are very well at home. Edie got off all the time I was home with love. From Ernest. Edie was another sister, and home was presumably the family home at Sayers Common, Sussex.

So I have a couple of other clues, not much to go on, but at least I know that Ernest was still in England on the 22nd October 1916, and this may help identify when he actually joined the Durham Light Infantry over in France or Belgium.

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