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Westmore Stories

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Arthur's Rifles

Netty Frances Greenham's brother Arthur John Greenham died at Gallipoli in World War I. I found the following information about him on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website:

"In Memory of Rifleman 1495 ARTHUR JOHN GREENHAM 8th Bn., Hampshire Regiment who died aged 25 on Sunday 19th September 1915, the son of John and Lucy Greenham, of 2 Myrtle Cottages, High Street, Wootton Bridge, Isle of Wight. Remembered with honour PIETA MILITARY CEMETERY Malta-Grave Reference: B. XIII. 6."

Then I contacted Geoff Allan who had been logging Isle of Wight War Memorials:

"A J GREENHAM 1/8TH HANTS RGT is commemorated in Wootton, Isle of Wight on the War Memorial in the churchyard of St Edmund's Church. He is also commemorated on the Isle of Wight Rifles Memorial at Carisbrooke Castle, and on the panels in the Territorial Drill Hall at Newport, Isle of Wight."

From the Gallipolli Association website I found out when his division got to Turkey:

"The 54th (East Anglian) Division arrived at Suvla on the 10th to the 15th August 1915 and then to Anzac in early September 1915."

Then from Chris Baker's website I found out how the regiment was made up:

"161st BRIGADE: comprising 1/4th, 1/5th, 1/6th & 1/7th Essex Rgt
162nd BRIGADE: comprising 1/5th Bedfordshire Rgt, 1/4th Northamptonshire Rgt, 1/10th & 1/11th London Rgt
163rd BRIGADE: comprising 1/4th & 1/5th Norfolk Rgt, 1/5th Suffolk Rgt, 1/8th Hampshire Rgt
ROYAL ENGINEERS: comprising 1/2nd & 2/1st (East Anglian) Field Companies, Divisional Cyclist Company"

from The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, Geoff Allan, The Gallipolli Association website, and Chris Baker's WWI website.

Frances' Grave

"In June 1989 I arrived early at St Mildreds Church in Whippingham to avoid the crowds. I wandered through the churchyard slowly, dismissing all the fancy stones without looking - Ive yet to find a rich ancestor. For some reason I headed towards the river, and just before getting there I picked one stone at random and idly brushed away the lichen. Frances Greenham? Just a coincidence, I thought to myself - extremely unlikely to be related to me. Inside the church the written records had the stone recorded as "F1-027 Greenham, Frances. Died 21st February 1877, aged 63 years, buried 25th February 1877, of Palmers Farm, Whippingham". 1877? Netty Frances Greenham, John and Lucys daughter was born 8 months later on 16th October 1877. Could she have been named after her paternal grandmother, and could Netty have led me to her grandmothers grave? This happened before I had any leads towards John Greenhams ancestors."

from hearsay: Suzanne Arnold

Harold's Reports

My maternal grandfather Harold Westmore kept his School Reports for years 1925 to 1928, from the Ventnor Council School, Lowtherville Road, Ventnor, Isle of Wight; and they contained Class listings and percentages obtained on the back. Coincidentally the lists also contain the name of my paternal grandfather's sister . . .

Below, the faces behind the names. Harold Westmore is marked with an X in the middle of the back row.

from Ventnor Council School Reports 1925-1928

Harold's War

The following is what I know of Harold Westmore's service in the Army during World War II . . .

4 Jun 1942 - Enlisted at Gloucester after call-up
27 Jun 1942 - London
20 Jul 1942 - Gloucester
22 Dec 1942 - Maritime Battery Training School
15 Mar 1943 - 26th Mar 1943 - Gunnery instruction course on HMS President
30 Apr 1943 - Shoeburyness
6 Nov 1943 - Trained as a No 6 as part of the Light AA Det
10 Nov 1943 - Maritime det
14 Feb 1944 - Trained as a mobile Light AA of Gun Primary role No 6
1944 - Brugge & Brussels
1944 - Holland
20 Sep 1944 - France
6 Jul 1945 - Brussels
Aug 1945 - DP Camp in the Rheine, Germany
Oct 1945 - Postcard addressed to D Troop, 120 Regt RA, 394 Bttry LAA, BAOR
9 Nov 1945 - Release as a Soldier to Class W (T) agreed by Major RA Comdg C Bty (LAA) RA
2 Dec 1945 - Release commenced from Woolwich
13 Apr 1952 - 27 Apr 1952 - Reservist requisition for re-training at Stiffkey in Norfolk

from 'Soldier's Service and Pay Book', backs of photographs & postcards

Harold's Wedding

"Pretty Wedding at St Wilfrids - On Saturday afternoon the wedding was solemnized at St Wilfrids (R C) Church, of Mr Harold Westmore, youngest son of the late Mr and Mrs Westmore, of 39 Lowtherville Road, Upper Ventnor, and Miss Doreen Margaret King, third daughter of Mrs King, of Geneva , High Street, Ventnor. The Rev A G McDonald officiated. The bride was given away by her brother, Mr Reginald King, wore a white satin ankle-length gown with silver headdress and tulle veil, and silver shoes. Her shower bouquet was of red roses. She was attended by one bridesmaid, Miss Kathleen King (sister of the bride), who was in a dress of scarlet silk, with gold juliet cap, gold sandals, and mittens, and carried a shower bouquet of gold chrysanthemums. Mr George Parsons was the best man. The reception was held at the home of the brides mother. Mr and Mrs Westmore were the recipients of about 40 useful and hansome presents."

from The Isle of Wight Mercury: Dec 1939

Henry's Accident

"Serious Accident at The Cement Mills - On Thursday a labourer, named Harry Westmore, living in Worsley Road, Hunnyhill, and employed at the cement mills, slipped and fell into the wash-mill as it was revolving. He clung on to the framework and went round several times with it, but was eventually got out and taken home, after having been seriously injured. Mr Harry Warsap, who has an ambulance certificate, did what was possible for the poor fellow, and Dr Wilkins was called in after Westmore reached home. On the way thither the Queen passed in her carriage and sent back to enquire what was the matter, and Her Majesty was so interested in the case that she sent a messenger from Osborne to the mills yesterday morning to learn how Westmore was progressing."

from The Isle of Wight County Press: 28 Jul 1888

"The Queen and the Workman - Her Majesty has made several enquiries after the condition of Henry Westmore, who sustained serious injuries in an accident at the cement works, as reported in our last, and on Monday morning the Queen further marked her kindly sympathy with the sufferer by sending him a sum of money."

from The Isle of Wight County Press: 4 Aug 1888

"Harry Westmore, a labourer, employed at Messrs: Francis and Co's cement mills, Newport, who met with rather a serious accident while at work last week, has been the recipient of Royal sympathy of a substantial kind. Her Majesty was out driving at the time the injured man was being conveyed home, and a messenger was sent to enquire what had happened. On Saturday the Queen sent from Osborne to learn further of Westmore's condition, and on Monday forwarded him 2. We understand that Westmore is making satisfactory progress towards recovery."

from The Isle of Wight Journal: 4 Aug 1888

regarding: Serious Accident at The Cement Mills & The Queen and the Workman - a similar tale was passed down to Albert Westmore, only replacing the wash-mill with Queen Victorias carriage, also the fact that he was so seriously injured that he never worked again. The sovereign coin has been passed down through Albert Westmores family.

from hearsay: Albert Westmore

Luccombe Farm 

Henry Westmore is recorded as being a Farmers Cowman living at Luccombe Farm Cottages, Bonchurch in 1914 . . .

"The landing of the cargoes anywhere between Niton and Ventnor was often very risky, and in dodging the Revenue men often greater dangers presented themselves on account of the rocky coast. Only those well acquainted with this part of the coast could take a boat in safety, and when the cargo had been put ashore a rope had to be lowered from the top and the kegs pulled to the top of the cliffs, while often the men engaged on the job had to go to and fro the same way.

The families of Jolliffes who farmed for many years at Luccombe Farm were great at the game, and on one occasion the cowman came running in with the news that "The officers be cooming, Maister." Farmer Jolliffe had a large party there to dine with him, and on hearing the news said "Ill go and talk to them; you know what to do !" The farmer went out and greeted the party cheerfully, and asked what they wanted, to which the officer replied that they had heard that a cargo of tubs had been landed near by, and they had orders to search the house. Farmer Jolliffe agreed to this, and the search began. All the lower rooms were searched with no result, also some of the bedrooms, but on coming to one of the rooms the farmer called the officer aside, and said his wife was in there with a recently born baby, but that he was quite at liberty to go in. This the officer said he did not wish to do, but the farmer insisted, so in they went to see Mrs Jolliffe tucked up in bed, and the nurse feeding the baby from the pipkin. The officer went off satisfied, and so was Farmer Jolliffe, as the tubs were in the bed with his wife, while the supposed baby was no baby at all but a big doll."

from Back of the Wight by Fred Mew (Smuggling Yarns VIII page 91)

Will Hollier

Lucy Hollier had a cousin William Hollier, born in 1850, who lived in Chale . . .

"In an earlier chapter of this book I mention the name of Will Hollier. To my great regret, Will has just passed over at the great age of 83, and I wish to pay tribute to one of the quietest, kindest, and most inoffensive friends it was ever my privilege to know. "Old Will," as he was affectionately called, was a lifelong inhabitant of Chale, and, although essentially a farm labourer, yet he had an intense love of the sea in all its moods as long as he was not on it, for he was no sailor. He had a marvellous memory, and up to his death he would talk of wrecks, mackerel fishing, or smugglers from the time he was five years old. He was associated with the Ladder gang of mackerel catchers, and was look-out man. It was a sight to be remembered to see Will perched high on the cliffs when shoals of fish were about, and as he always wore a white smock, it was easy to follow his movements. The nearer the fish came to shore the more agitated he got, and when you saw him begin waving his hat, well, it meant things were moving ! Brought up in the days when shore scenes could not be talked about, he retained that secrecy to the end except to his friends, and many a pleasant hour have I spent in conversation with him over those bygone days. For many years he resided at Chale Green, cared for by Mr and Mrs Harry Draper, and he passed over on April 25th, 1933, little known outside the parish but dearly loved by us, his friends."

from Back of the Wight by Fred Mew (Will Hollier page 71)

William's Will

The will of Francis Greenham's brother William . . .

"This is the last will and testament, of me, William Greenham of Park Lodge, in the parish of Whippingham, in the County of the Isle of Wight, labourer, whereby I appoint John Newbery of Wootton Bridge, Isle of Wight Postmaster, and William Please of Wootton Bridge, Isle of Wight, Builder, executors of all my real and personal estate of whatsoever nature and wheresoever situate, and the said John Newbery and William Please shall immediately after my decease convert the same into money, and from the proceeds thereof, after payment of my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses, pay to Ann Greenham widow of my brother George Greenham the sum of five pounds, and to Edith Greenham the widow of my brother Charles Greenham the sum of five pounds, and to Benjamin Cave widower of my sister Jane Greenham the sum of five pounds, and the whole of the remaining portion of my estate to my brother Francis Greenham, and I hereby revoke all other testamentary dispositions made by me, and I hereby declare this to be and contain my true last will and testament as witness thereof I the said William Greenen the testator, have to this my last will and testaments set my hand, this tenth day of April one thousand eight hundred and eighty three."

from the Will of William Greenham: 10 Apr 1883