Brentor and the First World War

The Brentor Archive Group are marking the centenary of the First World War by studying Brentor’s contribution to the war effort and how the experience changed life in the area.


The names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and are recorded on the Brentor War Memorial are:

Private James Moor Batten (51327) of the 9th Battalion (Service), Devonshire Regiment. Died of his wounds in France on 13 October 1918, aged 29.  More information

Acting Corporal John Henry Batten

Acting Corporal John Henry Batten (5002) of the 1st/4th Battalion (Territorials), Devonshire Regiment. Died in Mesopotamia on 17 September 1916, aged 20.  More information

Private Albert Bickle (M/274278) of the 1015th Motor Transport Company of the Army Service Corps. Died in Mesopotamia on 20 July 1918, aged 31.  More information

William Brewer  More information

Private Stanley Brook (203488) of D Company, 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Died 27 October 1916, aged 17. More information

Bombardier John Henry Cowling (75452) of the 117th Siege Battery, 3rd Siege Battalion, Royal Garrison Artillery. Died on 5 October 1918, aged 21.  More information

Stoker First Class George Doidge (K12459) served on HMS Recruit, an R class destroyer. Died on 9 August 1917, aged 23.  More information

Private John Doidge (10134) of the 8th (Service) Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Died on 10 May 1916, aged 24. More information

Private Ernest Percy Goad (241113) of the 1st Garrison Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, later transferred to the Labour Corps, 801st Area Employment Company. Died on 15 November 1918, aged 27.  More information

CSM Walter Holwill

Acting Corporal Samuel Higgins (20914) of the 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Died on 23 April 1917, aged 22.  More information

Company Sergeant Major Walter Holwill MC (10261) of the 8th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Died on 22 July 1916, aged 43. More information

Cook’s Mate Herbert William Jeffery (M/5049) of HMS Indefatigable. Died at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916, aged 23.  More information

Private Fred Medland (30335) of the 4th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, transferred to the 444th Agricultural Company, Labour Corps. Died on 20 October 1919, aged 29.  More information

Trooper John Joyce Postlethwaite

Lieutenant Christopher Joyce Postlethwaite of the 12th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment. Died of his wounds on 9 January 1918, aged 23.  More information

Trooper John Joyce Postlethwaite of the 5th Australian Light Horse. Died on 2 November 1915, aged 22.  More information

Private William Short (29108) of the 14th Welsh Regiment. Killed in action on 19 March 1916.  More information

Gunner Robert Arthur French Smith (85429) of the 3rd Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery. Died in France on 8 June 1917, aged 32.  More information

Colour Sergeant Ernest Wheeler (2008042) of the 25th (Res) Garrison, Rifle Brigade. Died on 26 February 1918, aged 41. More information


The dedication of the Brentor War Memorial on 10 October 1920. The picture was taken from the window of Windsor Cottage.

The War Memorial in the middle of Brentor is a focal point for remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War One.  But they were just the few.  Many others fought and survived, some were not well enough to serve, others were needed to carry out essential jobs.  All played their part in the war, with many carrying physical or emotional scars throughout their lives.

 Click here to find out more about these brave men and women

This photograph of a family group was taken from the site of the War Memorial before it was built. Downing’s butchers shop, now Crossways, is in the background.

All the above research has been done by Irene Cradick and many thanks go to her for bringing together so much detail about our villagers. 

Photographs from the Brentor Living Archive


The themes of the research being carried out by the Brentor Archive Group include:

1. The social and economic makeup of  Brentor in 1914:
i) Village Economy
• Railways and transport
• Shops and businesses
• Farming

ii) Village Institutions
• Schools
• Church and Chapel
• Families

2. The parish’s contribution to the war effort
• Brentor’s civic response.
• Personal stories and contributions

Brentor Band of Hope

3. The impact of the war on the community
• Biographies on those who went away to fight (those who died and those who returned)
• Biographies on those who stayed in the parish,
• The effects on local politics, crime, sport and recreation
• The effects on social structure and mobility

You can help with this research – some of the families who were living in Brentor parish at the time include:

Batten, Doidge, Walters, Brimacombe, Rice, Ward, Cook, Parken, Gerry, Minhinnick, Squire, Guscott, Allen, Apps, Lashbrook, Jenkins, Bickle, Cowling, Postlethwaite, Rundle, Nicholls, Maunder, Greening, Prouse

If you have any information or photographs relating to any of these families or others living in the Brentor area between 1900 and 1930 please contact:

Philip Whitcomb, tel 01258 452773 or email philip.whitcomb@btinternet.com

Irene Cradick, e-mail irene.cradick@btinternet.com


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