Remembering Worthing’s fallen

The Worthing men who died in November 1914 while serving their country in the First World War.

9151 Corporal Arthur William Fleet

Lincolnshire Regiment, 1st Battalion

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Died November 1, 1914, aged 21

Arthur Fleet and his seven siblings were all born in London, but their parents, Alfred and Susan, both came from Chichester.

Sometime between 1901 and 1911 the family moved to 1, Cambridge Terrace, Pavilion Road, Worthing.

Later, the parents moved to 4 Montpelier Terrace, North Street.

Arthur started work as an assistant in a tailor’s shop, but on the May 23, 1911, at the age of 18, he joined the Lincolnshire Regiment, enlisting at Brighton.

During his service it was recorded that, on June 3, 1913, he had four teeth extracted at a cost of 10 shillings.

Also, on May 6, 1914, he fractured his thumb. This was not thought to interfere with his duties.

In 1913 Arthur was promoted to Lance Corporal, and at the start of the First World War he was made a Corporal.

On August 13, 1914, he left for France with his regiment.

He served only 81 days there before he was killed in action at Ypres on November 1, having previously been reported as wounded and missing.

He has no known grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate memorial and on the memorial at St Paul`s Church, Worthing.

306427 Petty Officer Stoker William James Mant

Royal Navy, HMS Good Hope

Died November 1, 1914, aged 28

William Mant was born in Petworth in 1886.

His father Henry was an agricultural labourer and the family moved to Ardingly, and then to Sompting, before settling at Gordion, a house in Wigmore Road, Worthing.

William joined the Royal Navy as a stoker and rose to the rank of Petty Officer.

In 1911 he was staying at the Royal Sailors’ Rest, in Commercial Road, Portsmouth.

In 1914 he was serving on the Drake Class armoured cruiser HMS Good Hope, which was part of the South Atlantic Squadron and the flagship of Rear Admiral Cradock.

On Sunday, November 1, 1914, the entire crew of 1,600 men was lost when the ship was sunk by gunfire from the SMS Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau during the Battle of Coronel, off the coast of Chile.

The ship was hit in the magazine and exploded, a sight witnessed by another Worthing seaman.

William is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

In his will he left the sum of £120 10s 6d to his father, Henry James Mant.

1657 Private Henry Goodger

11th (Prince Albert`s Own) Hussars, 11th Cavalry Brigade

Died November 3, 1914, aged 31

Henry Goodger was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1884.

His parents, Lewis and Louisa (nee Hopkins) married in Brighton in 1882.

Lewis died in 1888 and Henry (known as Harry) and his sister Kate, lived at 1, Brunswick Road, Worthing, with their Goodger grandparents, while their mother took work as a cook in London.

Henry was still living with his widowed grandmother in 1901 when he was 16 and working as a carpenter`s assistant.

On August 15, 1914, Henry left for France with his regiment.

He kept a diary, recording details such as, on August 22, while on horse patrol, he helped to capture 17 Polish soldiers, and, on October 25, he was in reserve trenches, under shell fire from big guns.

Shortly afterwards he was fatally injured and died of his wounds on November 3, in the base hospital at Boulogne.

He is buried in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery and remembered on the war memorial at Heene Church, Worthing.

10223 Private Leonard George Richard Haulkham

4th (Queen`s Own) Hussars, 3rd Cavalry Brigade

Died of wounds November 4, 1914, aged 19

Leonard Haulkham was born in 1895 and baptised at Broadwater Church on August 25 of that year.

His parents were Alfred and Rose, and, at the time of Leonard`s baptism, Alfred was employed as a shepherd. Later he worked as a gardener.

Leonard, and his brothers and sisters, grew up at 11, Malthouse Cottages, Broadwater (since demolished and redeveloped as Steyning House, Broadwater Street East).

At the beginning of the war, Leonard enlisted at Brighton into the 4th Queen`s Own Hussars.

He was wounded at Ypres and died at the base hospital in Boulogne on November 4, 1914. He was 19.

He is buried in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery and is commemorated on the war memorial in Broadwater Church.

6580 Guardsman James May Batchelor

Scots Guards, 1st Battalion

Died November 11, 1914, aged 26

James Batchelor was born at Chertsey, Surrey, in 1888, the eldest son of Daniel, a gardener, and his wife, Mary.

At the age of 2 he was living with his maternal grandparents at 8 East Lavant.

He was still with them, at Lavant Lodge, 10 years later.

By 1911 he had joined the Scots Guards, enlisting at Chichester, and was stationed at their depot in Caterham, Surrey.

Meanwhile, his parents Daniel and Mary had moved to 14 Queen Street, Worthing, with his two younger brothers.

James left for France, with his regiment, in August 1914.

He was in action at Ypres November 11, after which he was reported missing.

He was later thought to have been killed on that day and has no known grave.

He is commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial.

J/25701 Horace Gordon Best, Boy 1st Class

Royal Navy, HMS Bulwark

Died November 26, 1914, aged 17

Horace Best was born at Worthing on March 26, 1898.

His father, Edwin Best, was a boatman in the coastguard service and home was number 4, Coast Guard Cottages (now Burleigh Court), Western Place.

He was a pupil of St George’s School, Lyndhurst Road.

With his background, it was perhaps not surprising that Horace joined the Royal Navy on leaving school.

On November 26, 1914, Horace was serving on HMS Bulwark.

His life was tragically cut short when the battleship blew up in Sheerness dockyard.

The internal explosion was caused by the overheating of cordite charges stored too close to the boiler room bulkhead.

Another Worthing man, Leading Signalman Robert Charman, was among the 736 killed.

Both men are remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial and the HMS Bulwark memorial at Sheerness.

Horace Best is also remembered on the memorial to the boys of St George’s School, now in the Sidney Walter Centre in Sussex Road.

226275 Leading Signalman Robert Charman

Royal Navy, HMS Bulwark

Died November 26, 1914, aged 27

Robert Charman was born in Worthing on October 15, 1887, and baptised at Broadwater Church on the December 4 of that year.

His father, Allen Charman, worked as a gardener and the family home was at 4, Northbrook Cottages, Broadwater.

Later his parents moved to Coronation House (since demolished), Southdownview Road.

On leaving school, Robert found work as a baker`s assistant.

By 1911 he had joined the Royal Navy and was serving aboard HMS Illustrious, off Weymouth, Dorset.

At the start of the war, with the rank of Leading Signalman, Robert was serving on the battleship HMS Bulwark.

He was killed when the ship was blown up by an internal explosion, off Sheerness, on November 26, 1914.

The explosion was caused by the overheating of cordite charges stored too near the boiler room bulkhead. 736 men were killed.

Of the 14 survivors, two died shortly afterwards. Another Worthing sailor, 17-year-old Horace Gordon Best, was also lost in this tragedy.

With no known graves they are both commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial and the Sheerness Naval Memorial.

Robert Charman is also remembered on the war memorial at Broadwater Church.

Captain Frank Brandt

Royal Navy, HMS Monmouth

Died November 1, 1914, aged 42

Frank Brandt was born in Madras, India, on October 2, 1871.

His father, Francis Brandt I.C.S., was a Judge in the High Court of Madras, and his mother was Lucy Sophia, nee Dobson.

In 1881, Frank was in England, at boarding school at Cheltenham.

Ten years later he was a midshipman in the Royal Navy.

On the night of the 1891 census he was on board HMS Volage, an iron screw corvette, at anchor at Spithead, Hampshire.

On September 20, 1900, Frank was married, at Kensington, to Beryl Pennington, who was also born at Madras.

Their first child, a daughter, was born on the Isle of Wight in 1902.

A son and two more daughters were born at Southsea.

Later, the family moved to Park Crescent, Worthing, and then to 25, Victoria Road.

On November 1, 1914, Frank was Captain of the cruiser HMS Monmouth, and fighting in the Battle of Coronel, off the coast of Chile.

The Monmouth was torpedoed by enemy action and sank with all hands.

Frank is remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.