St Martin's Church

North Perrott, Somerset

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The War Memorial

If you visit St Martin's Church you will see on the walls of the church the Roll of Honour. This names the individuals who were associated with the village who went to fight in the First World War and did not come home.  The men are also honoured on the War Memorial which stands on the village green.  Each soldier has an individual number, and the list below will tell you something of who they were, their rank and regiment, where they fought and died and where they have been buried.

 

Private B. Bishop (21364), 12th  Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. Died 6 November 1917 at Beersheba War Cemetery, Egypt,

In October 1917 General Allenby's force was entrenched in front of a strong Turkish position on the Gaza/Beersheba Road with the primary objective of taking Beersheba itself. On 30th October 1917 the position was attacked by 20th Corps from the west and the following night the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade charged over the trenches into Beersheba town. It is likely that Private Bishop died in the battle and was buried in the cemetery near by.  Initially the cemetery contained 139 graves but after 11th November 1915 large numbers were added from smaller sites around Beersheba.

 

Private Joseph Dabinett (11879), 8th  Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Died 27 July 1915 at the age of 20 and he is listed on the Helles Memorial Panel at Gallipoli.

 

Private Gerald Cecil Elson (7360), 1st  Battalion, Dorset Regiment. Died 9 September 1915 and mentioned on the Montereuil-aux-Lions Cemetery Memorial.

This is a very small cemetery/memorial which was created after the Armistice when graves were brought in from Aisne. Private Elson was one of the first casualties of the war and it is likely that he was killed during the retreat from Mons to where the allies made their stand on the banks of the River Marne.

 

Private Ewart B. Elson (4268), 13th Division, Cyclist Company, Army Cyclist Corps (ACC). Died on 4 August 1915 and is buried at the Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

There were 14 Cyclist Battalions (all territorials rather than regular army soldiers) in existence during the First World War. Initially they were deployed within the UK, by 1915 the ACC was created and soldiers were then deployed overseas. Investigations about Private Ewart Elson are continuing but it is known that the grave was sponsored by George Elson who was Ewart Elson's father.

 

Private John Osborne (3/5734) , 1st Battalion Dorset Regiment. Died 13 October 1914 and mentioned on Panel 222-23 Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

Given the fact that Private Osborne was a member of 1st Dorsets and died a month after Private Gerald Elson it is likely that he too was a casualty of the retreat from Mons to the Marne. However investigations are continuing.

 

Corporal Arthur George Saint (8582), 2nd Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. Died aged 27 on 31 October 1918 and is mentioned on the Delhi Memorial (India Gate) in India.

Corporal Arthur Saint was the son of Mr and Mrs Henry Saint of North Perrott. The Delhi Memorial which was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, includes the names of those servicemen who were buried west of the River Indus where maintenance of war graves was deemed impossible. Corporal Saint is recorded as being buried in Peshawar and therefore it is likely that it is for this reason his name is on the memorial. Investigations are continuing.

 

 

Private J Saint, (8743), 2nd Battalion, The Welsh Regiment. Died 5 November 1914 and buried at the Poperinge Old Military Cemetery (10km west of Poperinge itself).

Poperinge was the nearest town to Ypres and the Old Military Cemetery was created during the first battle of Ypres, during which Poperinge initially acted as the central casualty clearing station for the battle. It is therefore likely that Private Saint died at the clearing station as a result of wounds sustained during the first battle of Ypres, though investigations are still continuing into this.

 

If you know more about any of these individuals please do tell us so that we can add more detail to  their stories.