Photo: Love Lambeth website
REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY: SCOUTS TO HONOUR THOSE WHO FELL
The 1st Crystal Palace Scouts will play a major role in the annual Remembrance Sunday service this weekend honouring seven former troop members who fell in the Great War.
They include two who died on July 1st 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, and two more who fell during that Campaign.
Sunday’s service at the Upper Norwood War Memorial, which stands outside Sainsbury’s on Westow Street, begins at 10.45 am.
A colour party of Scouts will lower flags at the playing of the Last Post and raise them again following the two minute silence.
The scouts, who meet at their Rama Lane headquarters off Cintra Park, have been researching the lives of those who died in the Great War. The following includes just some of the detailed researches they have made of the seven, including the campaigns they fought and died in:
BONCKER Barry Robert 2nd Lt. Age 19. East Yorkshire Regiment 1st Btn. Lived 12 Upper Grove, South Norwood Clerk, National Bank of South Africa. Born 23 Farquhar Road. Son of Frederic and Violet Boncker 35 Whitworth Road South Norwood / 70 Auckland Road, Upper Norwood. Photo in M/S plate 1V.5 Fell Fricourt Died 1.7.1916. Pier and Face 2C Thiepval Memorial.
Barry Boncker was born in Upper Norwood in August 1897, but educated at Ardingley College in Haywards Heath. In 1914, he was living on Upper Grove in South Norwood and working as a clerk at the National Bank of South Africa. On 1 September, he joined the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) in the ranks. In November 1915 he was given a temporary commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the East Yorkshire Regiment. The official notice of his promotion was published in the London Gazette on 30 June 1916. On that day, he and the rest of A Company, 1st East Yorks, were parading and moving into their positions at Fricourt, where they were to attack at dawn on 1 July. The excellent Long, Long Trail website has a transcription of their war diary for that week, which describes how the brigade reached their first objective ‘in spite of heavy losses’ by 8.05 am. After repulsing a German attack, the battalion was too depleted to attack further and dug in. They were relieved by another brigade over night, leaving their positions by 6 a.m. The 1st East Yorks were in action again over the next few days but 1 July was the bloodiest with five officers killed on that day alone out of six killed and another 13 injured or missing by 4 July, along with 35 other ranks killed, 239 wounded, 158 missing and another nine wounded and missing. Barry Boncker was one of those four dead officers on 1 July 1916. He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing – just one of 72,203 names recorded there, 12,360 of them the fallen of 1 July 1916.
BURTENSHAW Ernest Rifleman Age 19. Service No: 6400 London Regiment (City of London Rifles) 6th Btn (secondary Regiment Canadian Engineers). Son of Mr C F and Mrs A Burtenshaw of 51 The Drive, Thornton Heath. Died 22.12.1916. II C 26 La Clytte Military Cemetery.
CARD Harry C Private Age 19.Service No: G/1757 The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment 7th Btn. Son of Mr J and Mrs Jemima Card of 67 St Saviour’s Road, Croydon. Died France 1.7.1916. Pier and Face 5D and 6D Thiepval Memorial.
Harry was born between April – June 1897. He had a sister called Jean, who was 13 years older than Harry. His mother was a widow. He lived at 67 St Saviours Road Croydon. He was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal.
Lance-Corporal Geoffrey Victor KING 15 August 1915 Signaller 1st British Columbia Regiment. Assistant Scoutmaster of the 2nd Croydon (Princess Christian’s) Troop of Boy Scouts. Killed in action in Belgium.
Jack LANGLEY Rank: Private Service No: T/3353 Date of Death: 09/08/1915 Regiment/Service: The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) 2nd/4th Bn. Panel Reference: Panel 30 and 31. Memorial: HELLES MEMORIAL Country: Turkey (including Gallipoli)
TEBBIT Hugh Edgar Private 5164 Age 27. Honourable Artillery Company 2nd Btn. Son of Mr and Mrs S J Tebbit of Gipsy Hill, London. Died 1.12.1916 VIII C 10 Contay British Cemetery, Contay.
Hugh was born in 1891 in Beddington, Surrey and died in France. He had one brother and three sisters. His job was a merchants clerk. In 1916 he lived at 22 The Avenue, Gipsy Hill. He joined on 2nd October 1916 and only two months later died of his wounds on 1st December 1916. He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Gordon Penry WILLIAMS (1898 – 1918) was born ca. 1898 in France. Gordon died on April 16, 1918 at 20 years old. He was buried in Cabaret-rouge British Cemetery Souchez,.
Rank: Second Lieutenant Regiment: The King’s (Liverpool Regiment) D Coy. 1st Bn. Rank: Second Lieutenant Age: 20 Regiment/Service: The King’s (Liverpool Regiment) “D” Coy. 1st Bn. attd. Intelligence Staff, G.H.Q. Grave Reference: VIII. P. 11.
Son of the Rev. Edward Osborne Williams and Beatrice Seymour Williams, of “Parkend,” 54, Sydenham Park, Sydenham, London.
Second Lieutenant GORDON PENRY WILLIAMS of “D” Company, 1st Battalion is also remembered on the memorial at Holy Trinity church, Sydenham.
His brother Francis Christopher Dallas Williams is also remembered on the memorial at Holy Trinity church, Sydenham:
Lieutenant FRANCIS CHRISTOPHER DALLAS WILLIAMS East Surrey Regiment Died on 19 July 1916 Age 21 LAVENTIE MILITARY CEMETERY, LA GORGUE Nord France Son of Beatrice Seymour Williams, of 138, High St., Sydenham, London, and the late Revd. Edward Osborne Williams. Born at Paoning, W. China.
The troop also lost seven former scouts in the Second World War:
Cpt. Felix Jones
Private Charles Lancefield
RAF Crewman St Clare Smythe
Flying Officer Leslie Stone
Sergeant John Stone
Flight Sergeant Ron Stringer
Corporal Arthur Tidy
Petty Officer Sam Watson
1st Crystal Palace scout group are looking for funds to put a memorial up in their Rama Lane headquarters to the seven former scouts who died in the First World War.
“Whilst we have a memorial in our HQ for the World War Two fallen we have no such memorial for our First World War lads and would love to raise some funds to do so.” says scout leader George Campbell.
“We’d also like to try and find some descendants or related family of some of the lads as, if we get a memorial, it would be superb if a relative of one or more of the lads could unveil it.”
The Troop was established on 28th February 1908 when a group of boys met under a lamppost on Westow Street after they had read Scouting for Boys.
In the early days the Troop had several homes but moved to Rama Lane in the 1930’s. The original buildings were owned by the Canadian military.