Some History of the Names on the Memorial Boards at St. Luke's
Of the military personnel the average age at death was 26.
95% of deaths were in the army, the rest were naval. No air deaths
- The first killed was George Court in the Grenadier Guards on 15th September 1914 age 27. He was quickly followed by two men who drowned with the loss of HMS Aboukir on 22nd September
- Frederick Lewis was blown up in the early hours of New Year's Day 1915, age 20, on HMS Formidable just outside Dover harbour, sunk by a U-boat, one of 547 casualties
- Albert Trumpeter died at Gallipoli having been wounded in the Suvla Bay landings. He died of his wounds on the hospital ship ‘Navasa’.
- Adam Biggs was one of those killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Others that died on the Somme included: John Collins, Richard Abbot, SIdney Berry, Charles Blackburn, John Clark, George Coleman, Albert Groombridge, Ivor/Iva Hubbell, Adam Biggs, Sidney Andrieux (most were in the Buffs)
- The youngest was James Robert Todd who was only a few weeks past his 16th birthday. His father was a labourer living at Ann's Road. James was killed with the Buffs at Loos on 13th October 1915. He joined up as part of Kitchener's first recruiting campaign along with William Fasham, George Sutton who also died that day.
- The oldest was Frank Gee age 47, who served in the Royal Navy and who died of an unspecified illness on 19th December 1917.
- The Groombridge (4) family of Central Road had seven sons who all went to war. Four died and are on the memorial. The father was a labourer at the gas works. Two sons died in the summer of 1916 (1 at the Somme) and two a year later. They were aged 20, 22, 22 and 26
- Charles Marmon, 36, was born at Garlinge and joined the Royal Navy in England. but emigrated and served with the Australian Machine Gun Corps in 1916. He was killed in France in November that year but his body was never recovered. His mother lived at 35 St Luke’s Avenue.
- Gunner Charles Richard Bracey died at Gaza just hours before the armistice, aged 30
- A curiosity is Private A S Milton who died in 1918. The CWGC has no such person but there was an Albert Samuel Milton of Central Road born 1892 which would seem a match. He survived and died in 1961. Either there was another or he was reported dead and later found OK.
- Another curiosity is Captain Injarit Singh. He was a grandson of Maharaja in India, was killed at Festubert on the 23rd November, 1914, while attending to the wounded in a house which was completely destroyed by the enemy’s shells. His father received a letter from Colonel C. C. Manifold, IMS, saying:
“It has just been my lot to meet an officer who was attached to the 57th Wilde’s Rifles, who . . . was giving me an account of the desperate fighting the 57th had had, and the vicissitudes they had, losing nearly all their officers. I asked him, ‘Who was your Medical Officer?’ He said, A most splendid fellow. Nothing I could say would be too great praise for him. Ten Victoria Crosses would not have been too much for what he did. There could not be found a braver man. I am filled with admiration, which will always last, for him.’ I need not say it was your son he was talking of.”
You can read more about Captain Singh here.
- From the Thanet Advertiser, 12th Dec 1914:
GALLANT INDIAN OFFICER Dies at the Front. The news that among the gallant Indian officers who have given their lives for the Empire is included Capt. K. I, Singh will be learned with deep regret many residents of the town and district. The deceased officer was attached to the Indian Medical Service and was serving with the Expeditionary Force, having come over with the first contingent. had only recently received promotion to tho rank of captain, and but a short time prior to his death wrote to friends speaking of the nature of his work and of the difficulty experienced bringing in the wounded under fire. Captain Kunwar Indarjit Singh was prominently associated with the parish of St. Luke's. He was a good all-round sportsman, having played county cricket for Kent and representing Ramsgate St. George’s both on the cricket and football fields. He was also a daring horseman, and a man charming personality. Captain Singh waa the fourth son of Maharajah Sir Haruum Singh, K.C.1.E., and Lady Singh, of Jallundur City. He took his degree at Pembroke College, Cambridge; and going on to King’s College Hospital, took the degrees of M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., M.R.C.P., and M. 8., of Cambridge, and passed third in the examination for the Indian Medical Service. Sir Harnam and Lady Singh came to Ramsgate whan they visited England for the Coronation of the late King Edward.
Many thanks to Margaret Bolton for carrying out this research.