Herbert Henry Boxall

Herbert Henry Boxall was born on the 26th March 1884 in Bury, West Sussex. He died in 1975 at Worthing living 91 years. His regiment was the Sussex Yeomanry.

 Home life

Herbert was the third child to Walter and Harriet Boxall. Herbert had two elder brothers Louis b.1879, Walter b.1882. He also had a younger sister Edith b. 22nd May 1990. In 1891 all the children were attending the local school.

In 1901 all three of the boys are following in their father’s footsteps as Blacksmiths.

On 7th April 1909 Herbert became a Police Constable with the Brighton Borough Police Force. It is not known where he was living at the time but within the 1911 Census, three years later; it is revealed that he was living as a boarder at 82 Coventry Street, Preston. (This is Preston Village, Brighton).

Military career

There appears to be no traceable Military records available for Herbert Boxall at this time although this matter will be reviewed. It is known that Herbert Boxall applied for permission to join the Army and was given permission to leave Brighton Borough Police by Chief Constable William Gentle on 19th May 1915.

Other Police officers that were given permission to leave the Brighton Borough Police Force on the same day included Sidney Barrow, Thomas Ford, Ernest Griggs, Henry Hayter, Charles Moorey and George Sutton.

It is not known at present whether Herbert went to war or remained with the Yeomanry.

Post war

It is known that Herbert rejoined Brighton Borough Police on 14th August 1919 along with Richard Lintott, Sydney Millen, Jack Cheesman, Christopher Gaston, Clifford Gaston, and Arthur Avis.

It can be presumed that Herbert Boxall did his bit for King and Country but it is not known where. The 1939 Register is our next insight to Herbert’s life which finds him alive and well living back at his parent’s home at Bury Gate. Herbert is living with his 87 year old mother Harriet along with his sister Edith.

Herbert is shown as a retired Police Inspector. (No trace can be found of his promotions). He is single and appears never to have married.

Herbert died on 11th April 1975 at 95 years of age at Swan Cottage, Rackham, Pulborough. His death is registered in Worthing.

Probate was registered in London on 23rd June 1975. Herbert’s estate was valued at £4018.

Copyright Researched and reported by Ian Borthwick 2017, Retired Sussex Police Officer AB579. Served between Nov 1976 to March 2007.

Charles Beesley

Charles Beesley was born in 1879 in Brighton. Charles died on the 30th of June 1916 at the Battles of Boar’s head in France at the age of 37 years. His regiment was the Royal Sussex Regiment, 13th Battalion. His service number was SD/3289.

Family and Home life:

Charles’ father Thomas Beesley was born in Oxford in 1840 and married Mary Bayliss of Woodstock, Oxfordshire in 1863. By 1871 they had five children and were living at 33 Marston Street, Cowley in Oxford and Mary’s mother Maria and Mary’s sister Adelina aged 15 years were living with them. Thomas was working as a college servant. Charles’ grandfather Richard Beesley, who was born in 1810, had also worked as a college servant.

Mary died in 1871 at the age of 29 years. At some time after the 1871 census Thomas moved to Brighton.

On 28/04/1878 in St Peter’s Church he married Lucy Comfort, who was born in Rotherhithe in about 1839 and was the fourth child of George Comfort and his wife Mary.

The Mathieson Brighton Suburban Directory of 1870, shows that Lucy was working as a milliner and dressmaker at 22, Bloomsbury Place and the 1874 Post Office directory shows she was a milliner working at 101 St George’s Road. Dressmakers would have been in high demand at this time in fashionable Brighton.
It is possible that Lucy may have learnt her trade at school or her father may have paid for an apprenticeship. He had at the time of the 1871 census worked as a clerk, but by the time of Lucy’s marriage was an accountant and therefore possibly of some means.

Charles’ birth was registered in Brighton between October and December 1879. The 1881 census showed him to be living with his parents and half sister Edith, who had been born in Oxford in 1870, at 33 Great College Street Brighton. Thomas was working as a waiter in a hotel and Lucy as a dressmaker.

Charles’ half brother Frank, in 1881, at the age of 13 years was working as a servant at 7 Regency Square in Brighton. Frank in 1887 joined the Royal Artillery and served for 21 years. He married twice.

Thomas’ other children, from his first marriage, in 1881 were living with relatives, Mary Maria born in 1866, with her Uncle Richard and Aunt  Annie in Oxford and  Emily, born in 1867,  with her Aunt Fanny in Battersea, but it is not clear where Tom, who was born in 1864, was living.
Thomas Beesley died in 1890. The 1891 census records Lucy to be a widow living at 9 Eastern Road with Charles who is aged 11 years; Lucy was the head of the household and continued to work as a dressmaker. There was another family of four living at the same address.

Lucy died in 1892 aged 53 years and so Charles, aged 12 years was an orphan.

In 1901 Charles was single, 21 years old and a boarder of Maria Dudman, living at 12 George Street Gardens. He was working as a printer’s compositor.

A compositor was the person who inset each letter of a word into the frames for printing. It needed the ability to read in mirror image, which apparently comes easier to those who are naturally left handed.

On January 10th 1903 in Hurstpierpoint, Charles at the age of 23 years, married Adelaide Wren, who was born in East Grinstead. They had two children, Charles Edward born on 29/09/1903 and Rosie Doris born on 10/02/1909.

In 1911 the family were living at 17, Terminus Road, Brighton and Charles was still working as a compositor and letterpress printer at an aerated water company.
There were seventeen Mineral Water Manufacturers in business in Brighton in 1901.

Military Career 

Charles enlisted at Brighton with the Royal Sussex Regiment, 13th Battalion. His regimental number is SD/3289 suggesting he was one of Lowthers Lambs. There appears to be limited information about Charles’ military career. He was killed in action on 30/06/1916 and is buried at Cabaret- Rouge British Cemetery, having been exhumed from Edward Road No 4 (Factory Trench). He was identified by his disc. Many of the soldiers found with Charles were not identified and came from other regiments.

He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

His effects totalling £1 15s 6d was sent to his wife as was his war gratuity of £6.

Post War

Adelaide did not remarry. The 1939 register showed her to be living in Rochford, Essex with her daughter Rosie D McRobert, who had married Alec J McRobert in 1935. Adelaide died in Essex in 1945. Rosie died in 1975.

Adelaide’s son, Charles Edward Beesley, in 1939 lived in Ealing, Middlesex with his wife Elsie and son Michael who was born in June 1936. Charles died in 1991 and is buried in Greenford Park Cemetery.

Sydney Barrow

Sydney Barrow was born, 13th October 1885 at Berwick, East Sussex. He died on the 11th October 1962 in Brighton. At the age of 77 years. His Regiment was the 2/1st Sussex Yeomanry and his rank was Acting Corporal, Service number: 171267.

 His profession pre-war was Brighton Borough Police Officer and his profession post-war was Bailiff at Brighton County Court.

He married in 1919 to Nellie Durden in Eastbourne.

Family life

Sydney Barrow was born 13th October 1885 in Berwick, East Sussex where his ancestors appear to have lived for several generations.

Home life

Sydney was the younger brother of Herbert who was born in 1884. Sydney and Herbert attended Berwick School.

The picture below shows the two boys with their parents Frederick and Ellen. Sydney is on the left.


By 1901 Sydney was working on a farm as a worker. He is still living in Berwick.

On 11th March 1908 Sydney became a Police Constable with the Brighton Borough Police Force. It is not known where he was living at the time but within the 1911 Census, three years later; it is revealed that he was living with his Uncle Benjamin John Woodall at 41 Kings Street, Brighton. Woodall had married Isabel Barrow. 

Military career

The Military records are very sketchy for Sydney Barrow, only two documents have been found. Upon the two WW1 Plaques within The Old Police Museum Cells at Brighton, Sydney appears to be with two units, The Sussex Yeomanry and The Northumberland Fusiliers.

Sydney Barrow received permission from Chief Constable William Gentle to join the Army from the then Chief Constable Mr. William Gentle on 19th May 1915. He left the Police on the same day and according to the “Silver Badge” records attested to join the Army the same day.

Other Police Officers that had applied for permission to join the Army that were released from the Police on the same date as Barrow are shown below:-

Herbert Boxall, Thomas Ford, Ernest Griggs, Henry Hayter, Charles Moorey and George Sutton.

The first record from the UK, WW1 Service Medal and Awards Rolls, 1914 -1920 shows that he qualified for the British War Medal along with the Victory Medal. He was Acting Corporal in the Sussex Yeomanry and his service number was SY 171267. The medal form which is dated 1920 also shows Sydney as a Lance Sergeant with the Northumberland Fusiliers, service number 237027.


Victory Medal


British War Medal


Within the Silver War Badge Roll transcription held at ‘Find my past an entry is found which records Sydney as having enlisted on 19th May 1915. At some stage unknown he received a Gun Shot wound and was discharged from the Army due to injury on 13th December 1918 aged 33yrs as a Lance Sgt. Sydney was awarded a Silver War Badge number B/65986.

Post war

Sydney Barrow eventually returns to Brighton Borough Police Force on 9th October 1919. It is not known where he has been since his discharge. A picture below is undated. The 1939 Register is our next insight to Sydney’s life which finds him alive and well living at 187 Ditchling Road, Brighton.  Sydney married Nellie Durden at Eastbourne in 1919. The couple appear to have four children;

Kathleen Mary Barrow born 25th April 1920 Brighton.

Norah Phyllis Barrow born 19th December Brighton.

Audrey Ellen Barrow born 1924 Brighton.

Hilda A Barrow born 1927 Brighton.

Sydney is shown to be employed as a Bailiff at Brighton County Court

Sydney died in Brighton on 11th October 1962 aged 76 years at Brighton General Hospital. Probate register shows that he was still living at 187 Ditchling Road.

Nellie Barrow died on 7th August 1981 aged 90 years.

Research problems-

The only research problem was a lack of army service records. Copyright Researched and reported by Ian Borthwick 2017. Retired Sussex Police Officer AB579. Served between Nov 1976 to March 2007.

Lance Corporal Charles Edward Ball

Charles Edward Ball was born in 1882 in Hastings Sussex. He died on the 3rd of September 1916 in Beamont Hemal, France at 29 years.  His Regiment was the Royal Sussex Regiment, 13th Battalion. His service number was SD/3521. His profession before the war was a barman.

Family Life:

1901 Census  shows that Charles’ mother Jane had re-married  to a Jerimiah Delay. The census therefore shows Jane’s children with the name Ball.

Military Career:

Lance Corporal Charles Ball fought at Ferm Rue De Bois where he earned a Military Medal for bravery.   He survived this battle and was sent to Beaumont Hemel where he died in action.

His wife was awarded the medal posthumously, the following was recorded in a local newspaper. (Ref GWF)

‘At Preston Barracks in Lewes Road Brighton 700 hundred people were present when Col Rodmell awarded to Lance Corporal Charles Ball’s widow with her small son Bernard present, a medal for bravery.

The official record states:-  ‘The attack became rather disorganised in the darkness and smoke. Lance Corporal Charles Ball got together a party of men  and pushed on with them and gained a footing in the German trench. He held this ground until every man was a casualty. This was  in July 1916. Lance Corporal Bell  survived this battle was killed in action three months later.’

Brother Robert was present wearing a blue uniform, as a wounded soldier. He was also in the Royal Sussex Regiment 13th Battalion.  He was the second son of  Jane Delay  who by this time had died. He was also brother to Carrie Morris who resided in Manitoba Canada. (Neither Carrie or Robert were mentioned in the 1901 Census.)

Lance Corporal Bell is recorded on The Sussex Roll of Honour and is buried at Beaumont Hamel Military Cemetery


I was unable to find a military record for Charles Ball and assume this was destroyed in a fire with many others. It was also impossible to trace his Regiment to  The Battle of Beaumont Hemel as the record for the regiment ceased in 1916. Therefore it is not known how Charles Ball died.

Patrick Francis Langton – A Hove Private Remembered

20161108_110128.jpgPatrick Francis Langton , born in 1897 in Teddington Surrey, was a bricklayer living at 6 Hove Street in Hove, East Sussex, before becoming a Private in the  Royal Sussex  12th Battalion  39th Division (service number SD/2370).

He died at The Battle of Boar’s Head at Ferme Du Bois France,  the deadliest battle for the Royal Sussex Battalion, on the 30th of June 1916, also known as ‘the day that Sussex died’. Patrick Francis was 19.

George St HoveFAMILY  LIFE

At the time of the 1911 census, Patrick Francis’ parents, John Langton (50 years old), a Cycle Engineer, and his Mother Ada E. Langtono (37 years old) are recorded to have been married for 14 years with three children.

Patrick Francis was the eldest at 13 years of age at the time of the census, followed by his sister Madge at 11 years and brother Fredrick at 9 years.

The family is recorded to have worshiped at All Saints Church Hove Sussex (parish records not available). Patrick Francis is not recorded to have married.

All Saint Church, Hove circa 1910

All Saints Church, Hove, circa 1910


Private Langton was posthumously awarded The Victory Medal and The  British War Medal. He enlisted in the British Army on 15 March 1915 in Hove Sussex.

Soldiers at one of the many camps accross sussex

Soldiers at a Sussex Camp

On 1st November 1915 the 39th Division moved from Aldershot to Whitley Camp to complete its training. Rifles were issued in January 1916 following which the infantry began musketry courses and during February the artillery carried out gunnery practice on Salisbury Plain. (War Records)

Royal Sussex Regement in Training

Sussex Regiment in Training


The following extracts depict the events of The Battle of Boar’s Head that lead to Patrick Francis’ death.

The  12th battalion war diary reads:

‘On 29th June 1916 ‘Two companies marched for Richburg and Vielle Chapelle and joined the  rest of battalion in  the front line  at Ferme Due Bois.  (The Battle of Boar’s Head)  Artillery bombarded enemy trenches from 2pm to 5pm. 12th Battalion attacked enemy front and support  lines and succeeded in entering same. 

The support  line was occupied for about half hour and the front line for four hours. The withdrawal was necessitated by the supply of bombs and ammunition giving out  by heavy enemy barrage on our front line and communication trenches preventing reinforcement being sent forward.’

12th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment

12th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment (image credited to Paul Reed)

Operation orders were  attached to  the diary. The battalion was relieved by the 14th Hants at 10am and marched to Les Lobes after resting at Richburg.

Battle of Boars Head

Lieunant Frank Walter Moyel wrote on the ICRC INDEX CARD for Private Langton: ‘At 3am on June 30th June 1916 some minutes before the attack. The bay Private Langton occupied with [text illegible] was blown in with bombs and heavy artillery – this I  saw myself, as I was  in the next bay. We had to go forward. I did not see him after.’

The concentration report attached to Private 4975 Earnest Leonard Mepham  states: ‘The British uncovered a mass grave containing 84 Unknown British Soldiers and 5 Unknown British Officers who all died on 30th June 1916′

An unnamed soldier of  12TH Battlalion from Eastbourne  gave an eye witness report:

We paraded  to go over the top the next morning. We said the Lord’s Prayer with our chaplain who addressed a few words to us and gave us a blessing. All night we  were hard at work cutting the barbed wire in front and carrying out bridges to put over a big ditch in front of our parapet. 

The time we went over,   guns started a terrible bombardment of the enemy’s trenches..  As soon as this  started the enemy sent up a string of red  lights  as a signal to his own  guns. I got a fragment of shell on the elbow about five minutes before our men went over… They blew our trenches right in, in several  places’


Patrick is Commemorated alongside the other Hove Residents who Fell during The Great War on The Hove War Memorial, the Hove Library Great War Memorial, and the All Saints Church Memorial plaque, the same church his family is recorded to have frequented.


P. F. Langton All Saints Church Hove Memorial

WW1 Memorial Plaque from All Saints Church, Hove, East Sussex

Patrick Francis is also commemorated on The Loos Memorial:

‘Private Langton SD 2370 12TH Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. 39th Division. Killed in action on the RUE De Bois 30th June 1916 son of John and Ada Langton of 6 Hove Street Hove. Born Teddington and enlisted in Hove.’



Every Man Remembered  writes:

‘Patrick was one of the many casualties in the unsuccessful attack by the 116th. Brigade on The Boar’s Head, near the Rue De Bois at Richebourg. It was a hastily planned action designed to distract the Germans from the main Somme Offensive on 1st. July 1916. A staggering total of 135 of Patrick’s Comrades from the Battalion also Fell on this day’.

In more recent times the following post on the ‘Great War Forum’ in January  2016  records the discovery of Patrick Frances’ ‘death penny’:

‘A very surprising discovery for me at the Ankara Antika Pazari today.  I discovered a ‘death penny’ for Private Patrick Frances Langton. CD 2370. This is the first example I have ever seen here. The only  information from the dealer was that he picked it up some years go on sale in Ankara. I don’t collect these, but I found that could not simply walk by and accept the idea of it just sitting there, and so I bought it…’

This research was completed by Veronica Wright of The Orange Lilies project.















First World War in Lewes evening

First World War Lewes Music Hall – Saturday 25 February 2017, 7pm: An event organised for the Mayor’s Charities for 2017.

A patriotic evening of musical entertainment including sketches, monologues and popular songs of the era, as performed for the troops in the Assembly Room, Lewes between 1914 and 1918, with audience participation accompanied by Lewes Glynde and Beddingham Band, members of Lewes Operatic Society and other artistes for your delectation and enjoyment, together with a well- stocked bar (wines, beers and soft drinks) and a capacious buffet supper.

Venue: Lewes Town Hall Assembly Room
Entry: £20 including buffet supper (£10 without supper)

Tickets must be booked in advance using a form (contact Town Hall), to be returned to the Civic Officer, Mayor’s Parlour, Lewes Town Hall, High Street, Lewes, BN7 2QS, telephone 01273471469, Email mayors.sec@lewes-tc.gov.uk

Tickets may be collected in advance from the Town Hall, or at the door.
All profits to the Mayor’s charities

via First World War Lewes Music Hall – Saturday 25 February 2017, 7pm — Lewes History Group

Featured image of Women’s Land Army members outside County Hall, Lewes. Image courtesy of Bob Elliston (Taken from East Sussex in WWI website).