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RESEARCH ON THE SPRATTON MEN

Sources for research

Roll of Honour133 men from Spratton are named on the Roll of Honour in Spratton Church. The collection of names for this Roll was mentioned by the Vicar of Spratton, the Reverend George Raw, in his Newsletter as early as 1915 and the final document was presented to the Church by Miss Bevan of Spratton House in July 1920. The Roll gives the name of each man, his regiment and the theatre of war in which he served. Names given are often the name by which the man was generally known rather than the actual name on his birth certificate.

Present day research has found a further 35 men who were born in Spratton or who lived here for some considerable time and who served in the First World War. Sources for these extra names are: the Vicar's monthly Newsletters 1914-19, Absent Voters' List 1918, school log books, census returns, relatives.

It has been difficult to find those men who moved to the village after 1911 if they are not in any of the records listed above. We must wait for the 1921 census. We should be pleased to have information about any man we have missed. Please contact information@sprattonhistory.org

Who were the men from Spratton who served in the First World War?

The men from Spratton who served in the army, navy and the newly formed air force were aged between 18 and 50 years and came from all walks of life. However, we have found a number who tried to enlist before they were 18 years e.g. John Higgs. 48% were from long established families in the village such as the Martin, Buckby, Horne, Taylor and Wykes families. Other families with three or more generations in the village were: Adnitt, Archer, Austin, Balderson, Copson, Gammage, Manning, Norman, Page and Smith.

The majority of men who served (52%), however, were newcomers who mostly came to Spratton seeking employment in the nearby ironstone quarries, on local farms, in the building trade or in service at the large houses in the village. A number of these men married girls from Spratton and stayed here for the rest of their lives.

Most newcomers (35 men) were employed in domestic service as gardeners, grooms, footmen, butlers and chauffeurs. These men and their families travelled around from one large house to another, often for promotion - e.g. from footman to butler, or from under-gardener to head gardener. In Spratton they found work at:

  • Spratton Hall - Lord Erskine
  • Broomhill - Sir Mervyn Manningham-Buller
  • Spratton Grange - Mr Edward Moorhouse
  • Spratton House - Miss Bevan

Occupations of men from Spratton who served in the First World War

Occupations of men from Spratton who served in the First World War

Skilled workers (33.33%, 46 men) including blacksmiths, bootmakers, bakers, carpenters, butchers, grocers and publicans.

Labourers (33.33%, 46 men) including farm workers, ironstone quarry workers and bricklayers.

Domestic servants (25.36%, 35 men) including gardeners, grooms, footmen, butlers and chauffeurs.

Independent means (4.34%, 6 men)

Professional (3.62%, 5 men) including clerks, a trainee teacher, an M.P. and a policeman

When did the men of Spratton join up?

1914 42 Volunteers aged 18 - 38 years joined the Regular Army for 3 years or the duration of the war
18 years olds were not sent overseas
1915 56 Lord Derby's Scheme - 16 October to 15 December 1915.
Men aged 18 - 40 years encouraged to enlist now, and be called up later
1916 30 2 March - Conscription of unmarried men and widowers aged 19 - 41
25 May - Conscription of married men 18 - 41 NB. Lower age dropped to 18
1917 13  
1918 7 Conscription - maximum age 50 years
18 year olds could be sent overseas
Unknown 19  
Total 167 (Baden Gammage in Army but died aged 17)

Spratton men serving in the Army in 1914-18

Of the total number of men from Spratton who went to war (168), by far the majority served in the Army (152). Some were already in the Regular Army, and some were in the Reserves. Others volunteered and some waited until conscription in March 1916. Some teenagers were so keen to serve that they tried to sign up before they were 18. At the moment, we have no information about men in reserved occupations nor about any who applied for deferment to a Military Tribunal (work in progress).

We know that 12 Spratton men had chosen the Regular Army as a career and were already serving when war was declared. Also, one teenager (Baden Gammage) was a boy entrant to the Duke of Edinburgh's Wiltshire Regiment. The Spratton "Regulars" had served in India, Egypt, the North-West Frontier, Malta, South Africa, Ireland and France. They were the first to be mobilised when war was declared in August 1914 and most were sent overseas with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).

  • Albert Baldwin, Royal Field Artillery
  • A J Brown, Northamptonshire Regiment
  • Thomas Buckby MM, Royal Engineers
  • William G Buckby, Northamptonshire Regiment
  • Sir Mervyn Manningham-Buller, Rifle Brigade
  • Robinson Elsdale, Royal Engineers
  • Baden Gammage, Duke of Edinburgh's Wiltshire Regiment (died 1917 in Wiltshire)
  • John C (Jack) Hayter DCM, Grenadier Guards
  • Harry Hider, Northamptonshire Regiment
  • John Leeson, Royal Field Artillery (died in action 1918)
  • George Martin, Royal Field Artillery (died of fever in India 1917)
  • William H Martin DCM, Royal Irish Lancers
  • George Reeve MC, MM, Royal Irish Fusiliers (died in 1918)


Other Spratton men (15) had served in the Regular Army and at the end of their term of service they signed on in the "Reserves". They were required to undertake training once a year and agreed to be mobilised should war be declared. These men were mostly called up in August 1914.

  • John S Austin, Northamptonshire Regiment
  • Jesse Bowers, Northamptonshire Yeomanry
  • Albert Green, Northamptonshire Yeomanry
  • Thomas Horne, Northamptonshire Regiment
  • Horace Judd, Royal Garrison Artillery
  • Albert Johnson, Northamptonshire Yeomanry
  • George Johnson, Northamptonshire Yeomanry
  • Amos Manning, Royal Army Service Corps
  • John T Manning, Northamptonshire Regiment
  • Frank Page, Northamptonshire Regiment
  • John Pheasant, Royal Army Medical Corps
  • Abraham Smith, Northamptonshire Regiment, Special Reserve
  • John W Smith 8964, Northampton Regiment, Special Reserve
  • William Speechley, Northamptonshir Regiment, Special Reserve
  • John J Wykes, Northamptonshire Regiment
  • Walter Wykes, Northamptonshire Regiment, Special Reserve


Some Spratton men volunteered in 1914 and in 1915, quite a few of them under the preferential terms of Lord Derby's Scheme in the autumn of 1915. Others waited for conscription in March 1916 and some had to wait until their 18th birthday.

Which Regiments did Spratton men join?

Occupations of men from Spratton who served in the First World War

Spratton men who served in the Royal Navy

  • Donald Passey
  • James Ward

Spratton men who served in the Royal Volunteer Naval Reserve

  • W Archibald Copson
  • Lord Erskine
  • Arthur Horne
  • Ernest Kench
  • William Tredwell

Spratton men who served in the Royal Flying Corps (became Royal Air Force in April 1918)

  • Charles Branson
  • Richard Buckby
  • W John Frisby
  • Leslie Knight
  • William Knightall
  • William Leatherland
  • Nathaniel Manning
  • William Rhodes-Moorhouse VC
  • William Snedker

Spratton men who died in the First World War

1914
  • John Smith 6942, Mons
  • John Smith 8964, Ypres
1915
  • Charles Austin, Ypres, died of wounds
  • Thomas Dickerson, Auber’s Ridge, Ypres
  • Walter Hayter, Ypres
  • Edward Letts, Auber’s Ridge, Ypres
  • William Rhodes-Moorhouse VC, Ypres
  • Arthur Page, Ypres, died of wounds, buried in Spratton
  • William Speechley, Auber’s Ridge, Ypres
  • John Wykes, Béthune
1916
  • Benjamin Green, Somme
  • Samuel Reeve, Somme
  • Frank Wykes, Beaumont Hamel
1917
  • Frederick Balderson MM, Passchendaele
  • Thomas Cooke, Passchendaele
  • Harry O Copson, Cambrai
  • Lewis Horne, Vimy Ridge
  • George Manning, Vimy Ridge
  • George Martin, India, died of malaria
  • Cecil Stevens, Prisoner of War
1918
  • Reginald Hodge, Somme
  • John H Leeson, 26 Oct.
  • George Reeve MC, MM, accident at barracks
  • Sidney Reeve, Somme
  • Joseph Tirrell, Ploegsteert, Belgium
  • Ernest Tite, Ypres
  • John Wadhams, Arras
  • Thomas Wadhams, Arras

Silver War Badge

At least 18 men returned from the war very severely injured. They had lost limbs, been gassed, shelled and shot at. Many had spent a considerable amount of time in hospital. They were issued with a Silver War Badge to wear at home to show that they had been injured in the war.

1915
  • Lewis Norman
  • John H Pheasant
1916
  • George Buckby
  • John Copson
  • Joseph Martin
  • F Samuel Page
1917
  • Jack Hayter DCM (POW)
  • Robert Hodge
  • Jack Wykes
  • Alsin Wykes
1918
  • William Austin
  • Ebenezer Copson
  • Albert Mains
  • Charles Wadhams
1919
  • Ernest Clarke
  • Hugh Gooden
  • William Goodwin
  • Frank Smith

Prisoners of War

  • Lance Corporal Robert Balderson, captured on 28 March 1918. Repatriated 25 November 1918
  • Private Sidney Gooden, captured 24 March 1918. Repatriated 3 December 1918
  • Lance Corporal Jack Hayter DCM, captured 27 January 1915. Repatriated 25 March 1916
  • Private Arthur Manning, captured 22 March 1918. Repatriated November 1918
  • Private Stephen Page, captured 21 March 1918. Repatriated November 1918
  • Sergeant William Martin DCM, captured 26 March 1918. Repatriated 24 October 1918
  • Private Cecil Stevens, captured July 1917. Died at POW camp in Ostende 12 July 1917

Campaign Medals

1914 Star (Mons Star)

Issued to all those who served in France and Belgium between 5 August 1914 and midnight 22/23 November 1914. A clasp, consisting of a small silver rosette on the ribbon, was added for those who had served under fire.

1915 Star

Issued to those who served in a theatre of war before 31 December 1915 and who did not qualify for the 1914 Star.

British War Medal 1914-1920

Issued to those who left their native shore in any part of the British Empire while on service. It did not matter whether they entered a theatre of war or not. All men who served in the main theatres of war qualified for this medal, as did those who left their native shore for service in, for example, India.

Victory Medal 1914-1919

Issued to all those who entered a theatre of war. It follows that every recipient of the Victory Medal also qualified for the British War Medal, but not the other way round. For example, if a soldier served in a garrison in India he would get the British War Medal but not the Victory Medal.

Spratton men awarded medals for distinguished service

Victoria Cross (VC)

The highest award for valour in the face of the enemy. It takes precedence over all other awards and is awarded to all ranks.

Awarded to:

  • Lieutenant William Rhodes-Moorhouse, Royal Flying Corps, of Spratton Grange. April 1915

Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)

The second highest award for gallantry after the Victoria Cross and awarded to those below commissioned rank.

Awarded to:

  • Lance Corporal John (Jack) Hayter, Grenadier Guards, of Haynes Lane, Spratton. 16 October1914
  • Sergeant William Martin, Royal Irish Lancers, of Station Road, Spratton. 8 July 1917

Military Cross (MC)

Awarded to commissioned officers for acts of exemplary gallantry in the face of the enemy.

Awarded to:

  • Lieutenant George Reeve, Royal Irish Fusiliers, born in Spratton. 18 July 1917. (Also MM 1915)

Military Medal (MM)

Awarded to non-commissiond ranks for acts of gallantry on land.

Awarded to:

  • Corporal Frederick Archer, Royal Engineers, Military Medal and Bar, of Station Road, Spratton. 13 October 1917
  • Corporal Frederick Balderson, Gloucestershire Regiment, of School Road, Spratton. 1917
  • Sergeant Thomas Buckby, Royal Engineers, of Middle Turn, Spratton. 1917
  • Regimental Sergeant Major George Reeve, Royal Irish Fusiliers, born in Spratton. Ypres 1915. (Also MC 1917)

Sources used

Absent Voters' List 1918

Birth, Marriage and Death Index. Free BMD. England and Wales

Census (UK) - 1871. 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Lieutenant William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse VC - A Northamptonshire Hero, by Enid Jarvis, Spratton Local History Society 2015

Life in Spratton 1911, by Enid Jarvis and Michael Heaton, Spratton Local History Society 2012

Memories of Old Spratton, by Enid Jarvis and Michael Heaton, Spratton LHS 2007

Military Records

  • Attestation Papers
  • Medal Record Cards
  • Pension Records
  • Regimental War Diaries
  • Service Records
  • Silver War Badge lists

Monthly newsletters of Vicar of Spratton 1914-1919

National Roll of the Great War 1914-1918 Section XII: Bedford and Northampton, Naval and Military Press Ltd 2006 (facsimile)

Naval and Military Archive

Northampton newspapers (various)

Northampton Records Office

  • Primary School Admissions Register
  • Schoolmaster's Logbook

Northamptonshire and the Great War 1914-1918, by W H Holloway, Northampton Independent 1920

Northamptonshire Libraries and Information Service

Relatives

Researching British Military Medals, by Steve Dymond, Crowood Press 1999

Roll of Honour, Spratton Church

Red Cross

  • Prisoner of War Records
  • Women's work

www.ancestry.co.uk

www.findmypast.co.uk

www.grandeguerre.jcpc.org

www.longlongtrail.co.uk

MEN WHO SERVED

ADNITT
ARCHER
ARTHUR
AUSTIN
BALDERSON
BALDWIN
BATTAMS
BILLING
BLAKESLEY
BLUNDELL
BOWERS
BRANSON
BROWN
BUCKBY
BUSWELL
CAPON
CATTELL
CLARKE
COOKE
COPSON
CRANE
DICKENS
DICKERSON
DUNKLEY
ELDRED
ELSDALE
ERSKINE
FOWLES
FRANKLIN
FRISBY
GAMMAGE
GIST
GOODEN
GOODWIN
GREEN
HAYTER
HIDER
HIGGS
HOBLEY
HODGE(S)
HODSON
HORNE
HUNT
JOHNSON
JUDD
KENCH
KNIGHT
KNIGHTALL
LEATHERLAND
LEESON
LEONARD
LETTS
LIVESEY
MAINS
MANNING
MANNINGHAM-BULLER
MARTIN
MASON
MIDDLETON (WYKES)
NORMAN
PAGE
PASSEY
PATEMAN
PAYNE
PHEASANT
POWELL
REEVE
RHODES-MOORHOUSE
RICHARDSON
SMITH
SNEDKER
SPEECHLEY
STEVENS
TARPLEY
TARRANT
TAYLOR
THORNTON
TIRRELL
TITE
TREDWELL
TURLAND
VINEY
VOKE
WADHAMS
WARD
WARWICKS
WHATTON
WOOD
WYKES
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