top of page

First World War  —  1914 - 1918

One hundred and twenty men from Hamsey parish went to serve their country in the First World War 1914-18. Of these 13 were not to return. They left widows, grieving parents and families. Mary Mitchell of Hamsey House lost two sons, Ronald and Charles, both officers. The Sandells family lost brothers, Finden and Walter. Eleanor, Lady Shiffner lost her young son John, just nineteen years old and was to lose her other son, Henry, in the Second War. Fred Heasman survived the war only to be cruelly struck down with influenza before he could return home and Edmund Payne who had survived at sea was to go down with his ship in a violent storm. Francis Pelling and young George Smith were to die so near to the end of the campaigns they were part of. These men served in theatres of war in France and Flanders, Palestine and Mesopotamia. Nine of them have a known grave and four with no known grave are commemorated on memorials.

Arthur Craven Charrington:

Captain 1st (Royal) Dragoons

Killed in action at Westroosebeke on 21st October 1914, aged 32. He was buried in the Ypres Town cemetery and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Belgium.

Arthur Collins:

Cpl 48280 62nd Battery, 367th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.

He died of malaria, presumably contracted during his time in India, at Brighton General Hospital on 27th January, 1915, aged 27. He is buried near the First War Memorial in Brighton Borough Cemetery, grave number ZIE 25.

Arthur Skerrett:

Sergeant 9/850, 7th Battalion,

Royal Sussex Regiment.

He died on 14th April 1916, aged 25, of wounds received at Hohenzollern. He is buried at the Lillers Communual Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

4 F Sandells_edited.png

Finden Sandells:

Pte Spts/5406 13th Battalion Royal Fusiliers

He lost his life at Beaucourt-sur-Ancre in the very last days of the Somme Offensive on 16th November 1916, aged 35. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France, along with 72,000 of his fellow comrades.

5 Banfield Tyne_Cot_Commonwealth_War_Gra

Albert Ernest Banfield:

SD/67 11th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment

Lost in action on the Menin Road on 24th September 1917, aged 20. Along with 35,000 of his fellow comrades, Albert is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial Belgium.

Ronald Mitchell:

Lieutenant, 10th Battalion (Buffs) East Kent Yeomanry

He was wounded on 6th November at Tel esh Sheria, Palestine, one leg was amputated before he died 13 days later on 19th November, 1917, aged 39. He is buried at the Port Said War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

7 George Smith_edited.jpg

George Smith:

C. Company, 16th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment

He was killed in action at Ram Allah, Palestine, on 30th December, 1917, aged 20.

He is buried at the Jerusalem War Cemetery, Israel.

Edmund Gordon Payne R.N.:

AB J/10182 H.M.S. Amethyst/H.M.S. Opel

Drowned at sea during a violent gale off Scapa Flow, Orkney Isles, on 12th January 1918, aged 24. Two ships went down each with 80 crew members on board.

Edmund is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, and also on his mother’s tombstone at Hamsey Church.

Charles Mitchell:

Lieutenant, 6th Dragoon Guards

Charles was killed in action on 1st April 1918, at Bois l’Abbé, near Hourges whilst his regiment were trying to capture a wood. He was 33 years old. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Poziers Memorial.

Sir John Bridger Shiffner Bt.:

2nd Lieut. 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment

He was hit in the forehead by a shrapnel bullet in his first battle, at Gricourt, on 23rd September 1918. He was just 19 years of age. He is buried in the Bellicourt British Cemetery, France

Frederick William Heasman:

Gnr 374372, Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery

Having survived 3 years of the war in France Fred sadly died before he could return home. He was admitted to the 55thGeneral Hospital at Wimereux (otherwise known as the Eastern General) suffering from influenza (an epidemic claimedthe lives of 2000 survivors of the war) on 16th November 1918 just as war ended. His condition did not improve and he died on 25th November, aged 23. He is buried at Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, which is north of Boulogne.

Walter Sandells:

4th Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Field Artillery

Walter died at Monchy-le-Preux of wounds on 29th January, 1918 possibly received on the 22nd January when a gun pit was hit by the Germans. He was 24 years old. He is buried in the Windmill British Cemetery, France.

Francis Pelling:

Cpl 23912 2nd Royal West Kent Regiment

Killed in action at Sharqat, Mesopotamia, on the 28th October 1918, aged 25. Francis Pelling is buried at the Baghdad North Gate Cemetery, Iraq, in Plot 18, Row F, Grave 1-29. This is probably a communual grave. He is also commemorated on his father’s grave at Hamsey.

bottom of page