PARKHAM'S FALLEN HEROES
Brief biographies of each of the Parkham men who were killed or died in World War I.
Compiled by Elizabeth Glover Howard
ARNOLD, Herbert Eveleigh, b c 1875, son of Thomas and Mary Jane Arnold, (née Eveleigh) of the Bell Inn, Parkham. Living 1891 at the Bell Inn with parents, grandfather Eveleigh and brothers Sydney, Reuben, Ben and William. Working for Col John Brocklehurst in Langham, Rutland, in 1901 as a domestic groom. Working as a chauffeur at Hensleigh Stables, Tiverton in 1911. Married Bessie Stephenson in the Sept 4 of 1912. Killed in action 23rd April 1917 with the MGC Heavy Branch, commemorated Arras memorial. Awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. Parkham's commemorative photograph shows that Reuben, Ben and William also served in the war.
"North Devon Journal. 3 May 1917. "Parkham soldiers killed in action. Attached to the Tank Corps, H E Arnold, son of Mr and Mrs T Arnold,old and respected inhabitants of Parkham and brother to Mr S S Arnold, Asst Supt of the Prudential Assurance Co. The deceased was for many years.chauffeur to Sir Ian Amory bart, at Tiverton. He leaves a bereaved widow and a little child (Harry E, born Sept Q 1914). In a letter to Mrs Arnold the Major in command of the Tank Section wrote 'Your husband was killed by a shell about noon yesterday 23rd April during the great battle in which the company were taking part. I am glad to say he was killed instantaneously and could have suffered no pain whatsoever. Your husband was one of the best men and keenest soldiers I had in my company and died as he had lived doing his duty for a great cause.'".
AYRE Alfred, b c 1888 at Langtree, son of Frederick and Sarah Ayre, of Halsbury Mill in 1891. Working as a carter of horse at Alwington 1901. Enlisted 19th May 1915 served with 9th Battalion Devonshire Regiment, killed in action 16th June 1917 probably at the second battle of the Somme, commemorated Arras memorial. Awarded Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals.
AYRE, John, b c 1898. Brother of the above, enlisted 1st Oct 1915, 9th Battalion Devonshire Regiment; died of wounds 5th November 1916, probably after the first battle of the Somme. Buried Parkham. Awarded Victory, British War and 1915 star medals.
BRAUND, Dennis, b c 1891 son of James and Elizabeth of 7 Bucks Mills, he was living in 1911 with the Nancekivells at Eastacott, Clovelly, and working as a waggoner; enlisted 22nd Aug 1914, 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment, died and buried at Bucks Mills 17th May 1915. Awarded Victory, British War and 15 star medals. The Western Times reports 21st May 1915 "Parkham: The first to fall for his country is Dennis Braund of Bucks Mills. Recently he was wounded in both arms and hopes were bright that he might get better. Only recently he wrote home saying he hoped to be home in a short time. However a telegram was received on Tuesday that he had succumbed to his injuries." The 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment was part of 5th Division and Dennis was probably wounded in the attack on German held Hill 60 on the Ypres salient, it was retaken by the Germans on 5th May. In all ten members of the Braund family are commemorated on the Parkham photograph.
BREND, Richard J, b c 1890 son of Thomas and Lydia of Parkham; living in 1911 with Thomas Barrow farmer at Bucks Cross and working as a waggoner. He was in the 2nd/6th Battalion Devonshire Regiment and took part in the Siege of Kut (Mesopotamia). The North Devon Journal reports 30th Nov 1916 " Pte R Brend who is officially reported to have succumbed to appendicitis and fever at Basra. He was a son of Mr and Mrs T Brend of Parkham. Deceased's only brother is serving in France." He was awarded the British war medal. And is buried at the Basra War Cemetary, Iraq.
HOCKIN, Stephen, b c 1895 son of John and Louisa/Lucy Hockin of Peppercombe, b Alwington. Joined 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry. He was killed in action on 1st Sept 1918 and is buried with 65 others in the small CWG cemetary at Eterpigny, of those buried the majority were killed between 30th Aug and 7th Sept 1918 so were perhaps part of the Battle of Peronne and the final German spring offensive of the war.
HEDDEN, Mark, 4th son of John and Emma Hedden of Halsbury, Parkham. Born Welcombe b c 1888, working at A Clements drapers shop in High St Bideford 1911. 2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers, died 13th Nov 1918, buried Appledore, awarded Victory and British War medals. Bideford Borough Tribunal, 17th Aug 1916: Mr Clements his employer was told his retired brother could return to the business to help out, M Hedden, draper's manager, application refused. NDJ 12 July 1912. "A pretty wedding took place yesterday morning at the Baptist chapel at Bideford between May Gertrude Tuplin dau of Mr and Mrs Nathaniel Tuplin of Bristol House, Appledore, and Mark Hedden, 5th son of Mr and Mrs John Hedden of Halsbury Barton, Buckland. During the day Mr and Mrs Hedden left for Ilfracombe and Bristol where the honeymoon will be spent. The bridegroom's gift to the bridesmaids was a gold brooch set with rubies. [they received] a beaufiful marble clock and bronze figures the gift of their employers (Mr and Mrs A Clements, High St Bideford). A large number witnessed the wedding both bride and bridegroom being exceedingly popular and highly respected."
Western Times, Nov 1918. "Parkham; ... to record the death of Pte M Hedden of Halsbury who died from wounds received in action. Great sympathy is expressed to the relatives in their bereavement." Western Times 26 Nov 1918, "Appledore; The funeral has taken place at Appledore of Pte Mark Hedden son of Mr Hedden of Halsbury Barton who died in East Leeds Hospital from wounds (possibly the Battle of the Selle 17th Oct 1918). He saw service in Salonika, Palestine and France and was wounded on Oct 16th last. The coffin was covered with a union jack and bore the inscription Pte Mark Hedden, 28883 D Co 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers died Nov 13th aged 31. "He left two children, John b Sept Q 1914 and Mary J b March Q 1917.
LEE, Richard, only son and surviving child of Richard and Eliza of Dundridge. He enlisted in the 3rd/1st Royal North Devon Hussars on 20th Nov 1915 and was discharged due to "sickness" on 26th Dec 1916, he died on 30th Jan 1918 and is buried in Parkham. In the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette of 8th Feb 1918 "The funeral of Trooper R Lee was very largely attended". The 3rd/1st RND Hussars do not appear to have served overseas, and were disbanded in early 1917.
PARR, Albert. Son of James and Louisa of Northway Farm, b 1891, served in Central Ontario Regt, Canadian Infanty, 58th Battalion, which was part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in France which arrived in France in February 1916. He may well have emigrated to Canada after the 1901 census and joined the Central Ontario Regt. It fought in Sept 1918 in the battle of the Canal du Nord. He died 4th Oct 1918 buried Parkham.
ROWE, Frank, (added later to the war memorial and not marked as FH on the commemorative photograph) son of Thomas and Bessie Rowe, living in Parkham 1901. Working for Giles George, Cabbacott, as a waggoner, 1911. 10th Batttalion Devonshire Regt. The 10th Bttn was attached to the 79th Brig 26th Division and sent to Salonika; it served on the Serbian/Bulgarian border and the Division was disbanded by May 1919. The Division suffered 8,000 casualties a large number of which died of disease. He married Annie Brock in Bideford in the March Q of 1916. They had Thomas b Sept Q 1916. He died on 3rd Nov 1919 and is buried at Haidar Pasha cemetary Istanbul.
SANDERS, H. This soldier is recorded on the commemorative photograph as being Pte H Sanders. HS (Home Service) 51m 22d FH. He is wearing the same uniform and bears quite a strong resemblance to L./Cpl Leonard Sanders, see below, and if these are brothers, then I can find no record of H Sanders who should be Henry. There is an H C Sanders who was in the 16th Battalion Devonshire Regiment (Royal North Devon Yeomanry etc) but he is commemorated on the Jerusalem war memorial, his date of death was 16th Nov 1917. There is also a Harry Sanders who was in the 8th Cadet Wing of the Royal Air Force and the son of James and Emily Sanders of Bucks Mills. This latter should be this Henry/Harry but the uniform is not RFC /RAF. This Harry died 8th March 1919 and is buried at St Anne's Bucks Mills. Of the two, the RAF Cadet d 1919 would seem to fit the 51 m 22d of the H Sanders on the photograph.
SANDERS, Leonard, son of James and Emily Sanders of Bucks Mills. Born 1895 he was, successively, in the Royal North Devon Hussars, the Devonshire Regiment, the South Wales Borderers and the 5th Battalion Connaught Rangers. The Rangers were with 66th Division at the end of the war and at the battle of Le Cateau. He was killed on 9th November 1918 two days short of the Armistice and was awarded the Victory and British war medals.
SANDERS, William Albert, son of Tom and Matilda Sanders, farmer and baker of Kerswell, Parkham, b 1894. With the Royal Army Service Corps, 18th Div Train, awarded MM died 3rd Aug 1918, buried on the Somme in Picardy in the small military cemetary at Querrieu. North Devon Journal 15th August 1918 "Sgt Will Sanders son of Mr and Mrs J T Sanders of Kerswell, who joined up in Oct 1914, and was awarded the Military Medal 18 months ago, has been accidentally drowned while bathing in a lake in France. He could not swim and is supposed to have stepped into a shell hole. He had a brother killed in action last December."
SANDERS, Wesley Edwin, brother to the above. Royal Naval Reserve Division, Nelson Battalion. The Exeter and Plymouth Gazette of 8th Feb 1918 reports "Pte Wesley Sanders is officially reported wounded"; and on 22nd Feb "The Rector has received a letter from the Army Chaplain stating that Pte Wesley Sanders RND was killed 30th Dec." and the Western Times reported 15th Feb 1918. "Another hero is added to our roll of honour by the death of Pte Wesley Sanders. Pte Sanders had only just turned 19 years of age. Sgt Sanders another brother recently had a injured back through a horse falling. He is also in France."
WARFIELD, Edward Albert, born in Middlesex in 1886 son of Edward and Annie, Somerset born publicans of the Wm IV Willesden; enlisted Barnstaple (late of the Royal North Devon Hussars) 2nd Battalion Devonshire Regiment; became licensee of Hoops Inn. Killed in action during the summer of 1917 Third Battle of Ypres and is commemorated at Tyne Cot. Married Phyllis May Frayne in 1910, and left two sons Edward and John. His widow took on the licence but remarried in 1928 in Scotland. Awarded the Victory and British War medals.
YARDE, James, b 1890 son of James and Lilian Yarde; working as a carter in 1911, but with his three brothers Thomas, Reuben and Henry in Bideford Union Workhouse in 1901. Their father James died in 1904 aged 44. Enlisted at Barnstaple 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment; North Devon Journal reports 25th October 1917 that he is "unofficially reported as missing". He was killed in action 4th Oct 1917 in the 3rd Battle of Ypres and is commemorated at Tyne Cot. Awarded the Victory and British War medals.