We will remember them

October 27 2017

MANGOTSFIELD’S war memorial includes 32 names - and resident David Blackmore has been researching the stories behind them.

MANGOTSFIELD’S war memorial includes 32 names - and resident David Blackmore has been researching the stories behind them.

He began by looking at Commonwealth War Grave Commission records to get the basic information on each man. Next he went to  the Central Library in Bristol to read the local newspapers of the time to glean further information, and finally he went to a pay-to-view site on the internet where he obtained the War Diaries of the regiments in which the men served. These   gave details of their movements while serving abroad and the actions in which they fought.

Mr Blackmore explained: “I erroneously thought that all of the men were either residents in or close to the village but I soon found out that local men married and moved away from the area, to the North of England, were not necessarily born in Mangotsfield but moved here in later life, while some had emigrated to Canada and in certain cases returned to served King and Country.

“ Those who had emigrated did so with the encouragement of the Canadian government. The Canadians were keen for farmers, stonemasons and carpenters from the UK to settle and populate the vast expanses of the country’s plains and forests. There were plenty of men from the village that had the necessary skills from their time working on the farms and stone quarries around Mangotsfield.

 

Lieutenant Frederick James Stone was born during 1892 in Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Frederick returned to these shores in 1895 and lived at ‘Otuka’, Hill House Road, Staple Hill and  went on to attend the Bristol Grammar School where he eared a BSc in Engineering. He enlisted in 1914 and was made a Temporary 2nd Lieutenant.  His rank as a 2nd. Lieutenant (on probation) was confirmed in  September 1916 and  he was posted to the 7th (Service) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment. He was involved in The Battle of Chunuk Bair on August 8, 1915. Between May and December 1916, the Glosters refitted and re-equipped in preparation for the drive northward to capture Baghdad. He was mortally wounded in the assault on the ‘Pointed Ruin’. Stone eventually died of his wounds at No. 1 General Hospital, Amara, Mesopotamia (Iraq) on 29th December 1916 when 24 years old. He is buried at the Amara War Cemetery, Al Amarah, Maysan, Iraq.

 

Lieutenant William Henry Charles Cave was born on 15th March 1895 in Stoneleigh House, Clifton, Bristol to Sir Charles Henry Cave JP and Beatrice Julia Cave. He was a grandson of Sir Charles Daniel Cave, the principal landowner in Downend and Mangotsfield. In 1901 the family was living at Rodway Hill House, Mangotsfield, while in 1911 Walter was a pupil at Repton School, Derbyshire which he left in August 1914 with the intention of going to Cambridge the following October. 

Having applied for a commission, Walter was gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant to the 3rd Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment on August 15, 1914, . He joined them at Wyke Regis nr. Weymouth, Dorset where he was to remain until 18th February 1915 when he was attached to the 1st Battalion Dorsets, stationed in Flanders. One month later – before noon on 15th March 1915 on his 20th birthday Walter was killed by an exploding shell whilst on the ramparts of Lankhof Chateaux in the Ypres Salient, Belgium and was the only man the Dorsets lost that day. A wooden battle field cross containing his name and Regiment were placed at the head of his grave. He was reinterred at Ramparts Cemetery, Lille Gate, Ypres. He is also commemorated at the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres. 

 

For more of Mr Blackmore's research, see the Downend Voice website