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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

Directory Listings





Parish Records




War Memorials


by Mark Bale


Mark Bale would welcome any corrections or additional information that readers can supply. Please contact him at



The cover of North Tawton's Memorial  Book

The cover of North Tawton's Memorial Book

© Mark Bale


“To the Glory of God & in pious memory of The Soldiers & Sailors of the parish of North Tawton who gave their lives in the GREAT WAR 1914-1919 this book is gratefully dedicated + R.I.P.”

The following list of 63 men associated with North Tawton who died in the Great War is based on the names of the 52 men in the Memorial Book in North Tawton Church, combined with the 50 names on the War Memorial, the 9 men associated with North Tawton parish by their Service Records or the Commonwealth War Grave Commission and a further 3 men associated with North Tawton in the “Soldiers who Died in the Great War” publication


Alford, Samuel


21 September 1917

Crooke Cottage


Age 38


11th Bn Australian Infantry

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial

Wounded previously.  Date from CWGC but memorial book says died “Died 17 September 1917”.

Enlisted 15 Jan 1915, was a Farm Hand from Victoria Park, Western Australia. Joined 11th Bn at Gallipoli, 10 July 1915. He received a shrapnel wound to head on 14 Oct 1915 and returned to the unit on 5 Nov 1915.  In March 1916 the Bn moved to Egypt on canal defence duties, and on 30 March 1916 embarked for Marseilles. They went into the lines at Sailly-sur-Lys on 20 May 1916.  He was one of 9 casualties on the 26 May, wounded in the shoulder and repatriated to England.  He rejoined on 8 Dec 1916 near Albert while the Bn was engaged in repairing the light rail line.  He was killed on 21 September 1917 when the Bn (3rd Brigade, 1st Australian Division) took part in the capture of Polygon Wood during the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele).

Son of William and Maria Alford; husband of Mrs. A. E. Alford, of East Street Farm, Whimple, Devon. Native of Iddesleigh.


Anstey, Frank Gerald


Died 18 September 1916

Fore Street


Age 27


17th Bn Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regt.)

Nr Albert
(Euston Road Cemetery)

Enlisted, Chelsea 15 May 1915, to France 17 November 1915.  17th Middlesex Regiment was also called the 1st Football Battalion, made up of professional footballers during the suspension of League matches.  During the Somme it fought with 6th Bde, 2nd Division and had taken heavy casualties, including the death of England international Evelyn Lintott. On 18th September a German attack involving poison gas killed 14 members of the battalion

Son of Harry and Mary Jane  Anstey, of 2, Mill Lane, N. Tawton, Devon.



William Samuel


23 March 1919

Crooke Cottage


Age 18


"E" Coy, 52nd Bn Devonshire Regt.

Etaples Hospital

The Bn was one of the graduated battalions in the home divisions for training purposes during the war.  It joined 87th Brigade, Southern Division in the British Army on the Rhine in March 1919.  Etaples had 5 major military hospitals until late 1919.

Son of Robert and Alice Arscott, of N. Tawton, Devon.


Montague Frank


22 August 1917

Fore Street


Age 19


6th Bn, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry)

Inverness Copse

(Tyne Cot Memorial)

Part of 43rd Brigade, 14th (Light) Division taking part in the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) The 43rd Brigade had been “... ordered to capture ground that ran from 'Herenthage Chateau' to the 'Southern end of Glencourse Wood'. For several days the weather had been fine and warm, so the ground was in better condition than for previous attacks. Zero hour was 7am, and the 6th Somersets 'went over the top' at 7.05am. By 8.01am Inverness Copse had been reached and a strongpoint west of Fitzclarence Farm had been taken, as had Herenthage Chateau. Some 130 German prisoners had been sent back. By 08.30am a message had been sent to Battalion HQ that Companies 1, 2 and 4 had been severely depleted.

Son of Frank and Mary Ann Attwell, of Fore St., N. Tawton

Avery, Harry William Woodman


24 April 1918

Globe Cottages


Age 18


2nd Bn Devonshire Regt.

Adelaide Cemetery,


Died of wounds.  Part of 23rd Brigade, 8th Division, the Bn had fought hard in the first German offensive on 21st Mar 1918. It was in the line at Cachy Switch. At 3am there was a gas barrage, increasing rifle fire followed by 5 tanks at 7am. The Bn fell back but then counter-attacked at 3pm clearing the Germans from the Bois l’Abbe wood and Cachy-Villers road and dug in with only 4 officers and 280 men on a 1200 yard front.  Villers-Bretonneux was the limit of the German breakthrough.  The Bn lost 82 men on 24 April.


Aysh, William


18 December 1916

Halse Cottages


Age 21


2nd/6th Bn Devonshire Regt.


(Delhi Memorial)

Battalion formed at Barnstaple 1914, sailed for India on 12 December 1914. In August 1916 attached to Peshawar Brigade, 1st (Peshawar) Division, Indian Army. Later served in Mesopotamia.

Son of Bastable and Maria Aysh, of Halse Cottages, N. Tawton, Devon.


Barratt, William


8 August 1916





2nd/2nd Devon Bty, 3rd/4th Wessex Bde. Royal Field Artillery

Inhow (India)

(Kirkee 1914-18 Memorial)

The Great War book refers to James Ajax Barratt (no trace), the War Memorial says he was William Barratt.  “Soldiers Died” / CWGC confirms him as Gunner William Barratt, 1234, R.F.A. Born Starcross, Devon.  The 3rd and 4th Wessex Brigades RFA were part of 43 Division sent to India in October 1914 and which provided cadres for troops sent to Mesopotamia.


The Kirkee Memorial commemorates more than 1,800 servicemen who died in India during WW1 who are buried in cemeteries where their graves can no longer be properly maintained.

Bidgway, Thomas Henry


25 September 1915

Skinnersland Farm


Age 30

1914-15 Star

8th (Service) Bn Devonshire Regiment

Loos Memorial

Not on Memorial, listed on CWGC & Soldiers Died in the Great War.

He entered France on 12 August 1915.  The 8th Bn was attached to 20th Brigade, 7th Division at the Battle of Loos on 25th September.  The offical record  states “...the 20th Brigade had carried the German front trenches within half-an-hour of the attack starting. Its leading battalions were the 2nd Gordons ... and the 8th Devons...  Despite the loss of most of their officers, these two units pressed on vigorously, capturing eight field guns and more prisoners; they were only checked when they reached the point where the Hulloch-Vermelles road crosses that from Lens to La Bassée. Here, well ahead of the troops on either flank and reduced to a mere handful, they came to a standstill.”  

The Loos Memorial commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who have no known grave.

Son of Louisa and the late Robert Bidgway; husband of Mary Bambury Nethaway (formerly Bidgway), of Skinnersland Farm, Bondleigh, North Tawton, Devon.


Bolt, Norman Frederick


25 November 1918



Age 20


4th Bn Machine Gun Corps

Dammes-Camiers Hospital

(Etaples Military Cemetery)

“Died of Wounds – gassed” - at Dammes-Camiers about 10 miles south of Bolougne. 

4th Battalion Machine Gun Corps was formed on 26th February 1918, from the 10th, 11th, 12th and 234th Machine Gun Companies, attached 4th Division.

Son of William and Joanna Bolt, of Lake Way, N. Tawton, Devon. Native of N. Tawton.


Bolt, Richard


25 August 1918

Little Beere


Age 32


1st/6th Bn Devonshire Regt.

St Albans Hospital

(buried N. Tawton)

Served in Mesopotamia. From 1916, 1/6th Battalion was independent and part of Corps Troops Mesopotamia and formed the Tigris Lines of Communication and then the Euphrates Defences Base Mobile Column.

Son of Francis and Ellen Bolt, of Essington Rd., N. Tawton.

Bolt, (Wallace) John


31 July 1917

Little Beere


Age 24


2nd Bn Devonshire Regt.

Bedford House Cemetery


Battalion part of 23rd Brigade, 8th Division attacked Hooge, nr Ypres at Zero Hour on the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). They gained their first objectives, met stiff resistance but when moving up to support 25th Brigade “our troops came under a very hostile shelling and machine gun fire from the right. Many casualties were sustained”.  In total 53 men of the 2nd Bn died on 31 July; “casualties to other ranks - 22 killed, 170 wounded and 37 missing” by 4 August when they were relieved.



The material on this page is the copyright property of Mark Bale



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