Worthing remembers with pride

Profiles of the Worthing men who died in September 1914 while serving in the First World War.

George William Davey – 9676 L/Cpl

Royal Sussex Regiment 2nd Battalion

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Died September 12, 1914, aged 20

George Davey and his brother, Joseph, were born at 35 West Street, Worthing. His parents were George and Mary.

He attended Christ Church School in Portland Road, and after leaving school he started work as an errand boy for Mr Carpenter at Spelsbury House, Teville Road.

Mr Carpenter was a Licentiate of Dental Surgery and a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.

Mr Carpenter gave George a reference stating that he was very honest and sober.

George enlisted in the Territorial Army, at Chichester, in 1911, at the age of 17 years and 7 months, with his parents’ consent.

He was promoted to Lance Corporal on April 16, 1913. He joined the 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment at the outbreak of the First World War.

In his short life, George was rather a character. He was sent to Pirbright for further training and while there, was reprimanded for ‘causing a disturbance’ in the camp at 22.40 hours on the June 26, 1914.

At the outbreak of the war, his battalion was stationed in Woking, Surrey.

In August, he went to France with the 1st Division. He suffered a head wound in action at the Battle of Marne on September 10 and was admitted to hospital.

The battalion diary shows that 21 soldiers were killed, 83 wounded, and four horses were also killed on this day.

Sadly, he died two days later at only 20 years old. He is buried in Priez communal cemetery.

George Davey is also remembered on the memorial for the boys of Christ Church School who died in the service of their country.

George Blackman – L/8043 Private

Royal Sussex Regiment 2nd Battalion

Died September 14, 1914

George Blackman was born in Newhaven to Charles Blackman, a baker, and his wife, Agnes.

He was the second son in a family of five sons and three daughters.

The Blackman family was living at 24 North Street, Worthing, in 1891.

Later, they moved to Eldon Road, first to number 5 and then number 9.

On leaving school, George found employment as a gardener and then a grocers’ assistant.

On October 4, 1904, he enlisted into the Royal Sussex Regiment at Chichester.

He served some of his time in Belfast, where he married his wife, Martha, on October 15, 1913, at St James’ Church.

George was in action in France on September 14, 1914, with the Royal Sussex Regiment.

Orders were given to occupy the high ground above Troyon at all costs.

A total of 250 Germans had surrendered with a white flag when the enemy opened fire on soldiers and captives, causing many casualties.

There was heavy fighting all day.

Six officers and 11 rank and file were killed, 79 wounded and 114 men posted missing.

George is buried in the Vendresse British Cemetery.

Albert Denyer – L/8555 Private

Royal Sussex Regiment 2nd Battalion

Died September 14, 1914, aged 27

Albert Denyer was born in Angmering on December 18, 1886.

He was the son of agricultural labourer George Denyer and his wife, Amy.

There were six children in the family and Albert`s early home was at Lee Farm Cottages, Clapham.

Later, the family moved to Sea Cottages, Kingston, near Ferring, where Albert worked as a farm lad.

His parents later moved to 91 Southfield Road, Worthing.

On September 18, 1906, Albert, aged 19, enlisted into the Royal Sussex Regiment at Chichester.

He served mainly in India until 1913.

On January 12, 1914, he was transferred to the Army Reserve and his conduct was recorded as exemplary.

It was his intention to go to Canada, where his family had already emigrated.

In 1914, Albert was serving in France with his regiment. On September 14 he was killed in action near Vendresse, on the Marne.

He is buried in the Vendresse British Cemetery.

Herbert Denyer – 7900 Rifleman

King’s Royal Rifle Corps 2nd Battalion

Died September 14, 1914, aged 23

Herbert Denyer was born in 1891 at Wick, near Lyminster, the youngest of three children of William and Julia Denyer.

William was a carpenter and joiner by trade.

The family surname was Denyer-Burchell, a name that was used to register family births and the death of Julia. At other times, only the name Denyer was used.

In 1901, the family was living at 67 Becket Road, Worthing. Later, the parents moved to 55 Becket Road.

Herbert followed his father’s trade and worked as a carpenter until 1907.

On January 10 of that year, he enlisted at Worthing with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

His attestation form states that he was 18 years and 3 months old, when he was actually only 16 years old.

On September 1, 1913, he was appointed Bugler. The following year Herbert was fighting in France with his regiment. He died of wounds in the battle near Troyon, on the Marne, on September 14, 1914.

His grave is lost but he is remembered at La Ferte Sous Jouarre memorial, and also on the war memorial at West Tarring.

Cecil Victor Braden – 10588 Rifleman

King’s Royal Rifle Corps 2nd Battalion

Died September 16, 1914, aged 20

Cecil Braden was born in Worthing in 1894, to James, a butcher by trade, and Fanny, who lived at 29 Ashdown Road, Worthing.

Cecil attended St George’s School in Lyndhurst Road and, in 1911, at the age of 16, he was employed as an assistant at a gentleman’s outfitters.

On March 18, 1912, Cecil enlisted in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps 2nd Battalion.

As part of the British Expeditionary Force, they landed in Le Havre on August 13, 1914.

At the battle of Aisne, on September 16, he became an early casualty when he was shot through the head as he tried to bandage the wounds of an injured officer.

He fell dead across the man he was trying to save, as he rose to carry him to safety.

He is buried in the Villers-en-Prayères communal cemetery with four other members of the KRRC.

There are a total of 33 soldiers buried in this local cemetery.

He is remembered on the war memorial at Broadwater Church, and is also commemorated on the memorial in the Sidney Walter Centre, formerly Sussex Road School, to the boys of St George’s School who gave their lives for their country.

This memorial was moved to the Sussex Road School when St George’s School was demolished.

Walter Emery Cooper – 8836 Private

Worcestershire Regiment

Died September 20, 1914, aged 26

Walter Cooper was born in Worthing in 1888, and was baptised at Broadwater Church on November 4 of that year.

Walter`s father, Albert, was employed as a gardener at The Warren and the family lived at Hill Barn Cottages, Broadwater, later moving to 26 The Warren.

Having joined the Worcestershire Regiment, Walter served in India and, in 1911, he was stationed at the Bareilly United Province.

In August, 1914, the 2nd Battalion was located in Aldershot as part of the 5th Brigade in the 2nd Division.

On August 14, the 2nd Battalion landed in Boulogne, as part of the British Expeditionary Force.

Walter became an early casualty when he was killed in action on September 20, 1914.

His body was never identified and he is remembered on the memorial at La Ferté-sous-Jouarre.

The memorial commemorates 3,740 men who were killed at the battles of Mons, Le Cateau, Marne and Aisne between August and October, 1914, and have no known grave.

He is also remembered on the Cooper family grave in Broadwater Cemetery with the words: “In loving memory of Cpl. W E Cooper (Wally), 2nd Worcestershire Regiment, who died of wounds in France, 20th September 1914, aged 26 years. A nobler death no man can die.”

Edward George Biddlecombe – RMA/8781 Sergeant

Royal Marine Artillery

Died September 22, 1914, aged 30

Edward Biddlecombe was born in Devizes, Wiltshire, on March 19, 1883, the son of William Biddlecombe, a coachman, and his wife, Jane.

He joined the Royal Marines and at 18, with the rank of Soldier Gunner, he was stationed at Eastney Barracks, Southsea.

After his parents moved to Belsize Road, Worthing, Edward met Rose Peerless, of 1 Selborne Terrace (now 83 Lyndhurst Road), a housemaid to Dr Hinds of Worthing.

They married in 1907 and moved to Portsmouth, where their son Edward was born in 1909.

At the start of the First World War, Edward was serving as a gunner on the cruiser HMS Aboukir.

On September 22, 1914, his ship, with two other cruisers, was torpedoed by German submarine U9 off the Dutch coast.

The Aboukir, the first to be hit, sank within an hour.

The other ships, thinking it had hit a mine, went to the rescue, but both were torpedoed. The disaster cost 1,459 lives.

Edward’s body was never recovered and he is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, and on the Peerless family grave, in Broadwater Cemetery.