The Bates Brothers
Two of the three sons of David Richard and Mina Berry Bates (nee Hunter), who lived next to the Booker family at Old House Cottages on the corner of Lackenhurst Lane and Bakers Lane, served in the Great War.
David Hunter Bates (b 1891 Horstead Keynes) served with the 3rd, 9th and 2nd Bn Royal Sussex Regiment from 21st February 1916 as Pte G/8780 until he was discharged in May 1917. According to his surviving discharge papers he served with the 9th and 2nd Royal Sussex as part of the BEF in France between August and September 1916 before being returned to base (presumably as a result of his wounds) in the October. He was discharged wounded on the 29th May the following year and awarded the Silver War Badge.
Edward William Bates (b 26th January 1893, Horstead Keynes) served in the Royal Navy as an Ordinary Seaman and then an Able Seaman (J50922) from 2nd March 1916 until the end of May 1919.
Younger brother John Douglas Bates, born Horstead Keynes abt 1894, would have also been old enough to serve but there is no record that he did.
The Masters Brothers
>Four Masters brothers from Post Reed Farm in Brooks Green served in the Great War. Although technically in Shipley Parish, the farm is actually in Trout Lane and hence these men warrant inclusion in our record.
Percival Masters was born Chiddingfold 1st August 1890, baptised Farnborough 28th September 1890, died in France 9th September 1918.
Samuel Sidney Masters (aka Sidney) was born Chiddingfold 8th July 1894, died 1953
Murray Masters was born Ewhurst 27th September 1895, baptised Ewhurst 24th November 1895, died 1952
Bryant James Masters was born Ewhurst 25th December 1897, registered Horsham, died 1940
All four brothers were living with their widowed father Samuel, sister Dorcas (b 27th December 1892, Chiddingfold), younger brother Earnest John (b 1900, Colgate) and Housekeeper Louisa Mills, at The Haven, Billingshurst in the 1911 census. Percival Masters
Samuel’s first wife Frances (nee Mills), the children’s mother, died in 1901 and he remarried to Louisa Mills (who appears to have been Frances’ younger sister) in 1913. It is quite possible that Frances died from complications in childbirth as it appears from school records that Ernest was kept at home until he was almost 14 and then recorded as being rather backward.
There do not appear to have been any children from the second marriage which only lasted a few years as Samuel himself died in 1919. By this time some of the family were living at Post Reed Farm in Brooks Green but as Percy signed up in Bridgend and Murray in Pontypool it is likely that some of the boys were no longer at home.
signed up in Bridgend around September 1914 and served initially with the 1st Bn Glamorgan Regiment (Yeomanry) as Pte 1740 before transferring to the 24th Bn Royal Welsh Regiment as Pte 320759. He was latterly attached to 231st Brigade Headquarters and it was with this Brigade that he was killed near Longavesnes in the Somme on the 9th September 1918.
Sidney Masters served with the 1st/5th Norfolk Regiment (Territorials) and shipped with them to Gallipoli in August 1915. They were evacuated from Gallipoli in December 1915 and spent the rest of the war in Egypt/Palestine. Initially serving as Pte 2444, Sidney rose through L/Cpl to Acting Seargent 240358 before being demobilised in July 1919.
Murray Masters initially signed up in Pontypool on the 28th September 1914 as Pte 2662 with the 2nd Bn Monmouth Regiment but by 1918 the AVL has him with the 24th as Pte 265748. His medical record still exists and shows that through 1916 and 1917 Murray suffered from a number of shell and gunshot wounds which eventually got him his “Blighty Ticket” in June 1917. From the dates of the injuries and the know locations of the 24th Welch Regiment is highly likely that Murray was with, or at least close to, Percival when he was killed. After a short spell with the RFA Murray was posted to the Labour Corps as Pte 680468 and saw out his time until demobilisation in April 1919 with 659 Agricultural Unit. His wounds had left him with scars to his shoulder, arm and face and damage to his spine.
Bryant Masters served as Pte 1606 and then H/230834 with the 1st/1st Dorset Yeomanry, a Cavalry Unit and part of the Corps of Hussars. The first number suggests an early sign up and the 1st/1st shipped to Gallipoli in August 1915 but the absence of a 1914/15 Star suggest that Bryant was not with them. The Regiment spent the rest of the war in Egypt and Palestine so it is likely that this is where Bryant saw the rest of his service.
Edward Fincher London
Edward Fincher London was the only child of Edward Fincher Howell London and his wife Eliza Ann (nee Richardson). Born in Burgess Hill 8th December 1892, by 1901 he had relocated with his family to Brooks Green and was still living there with his parents during the war years. It appears that in his late teens/early 20’s Edward tried his hand at photography, and a few published cards of the area by “E.F.London” exist, but this was not a trade that he took into his war service. Edward in fact served with the Army Service Corps as a Driver in the Motor Transport division (Pte DM/2 170058) and it seems that it was this new trade that he took forward into civilian life as in his father’s will (1938) he is recorded as a “Grocers Roundsman”. No service records exist for Edward but his medals suggest service overseas and the AVLs put him back home in the summer of 1919.
Walter Robert Elphick
Walter Robert Elphick, the only child of John Elphick, a gardener at Christs Hospital, and his wife Sarah, was only 14 when war broke out but on the 11th December 1917 – just 9 days after his 11th birthday, he enlisted in the Royal Navy.
He served, shore based until 9th June 1919 but later, in 1922 enlisted in the 12th London Regiment. Walter Elphick married Annie Grace Cannon in London in 1922 but the marriage was a short one as Annie died, aged just 36, in 1936.
How long Walter served with the London Regiment is not known but in 1939 he was recorded as widowed, a “stationary packer” and living with his widowed mother-in-law and what is likely to have been one of his three children.