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A village remembers the Armistice centenary and all those who serve





The Remembrance Service was held at St Mary Magdalene yesterday to remember all those who have served, died, were wounded or still serve.

The sun shone, the bells were rung and many families took part in the commemoration

The focus was on building peace and the role of the next generation.


Poppy wreaths were laid at the war memorial and children from the village laid a spray of poppies next to individually named crosses of those from the village who gave their lives in the Great War .

A two minute silence was observed.


Following the service the bellringers took part in the nationwide peal of bells.

In Flanders Fields…..Harold Walpole

Harold Edgar WALPOLE

Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

Picture of Harold Walpole

Harold Walpole

Rank: Able Seaman
Service No: R/6329
Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve – Anson Battalion, R.N. Divison
Date of Death: 11/11/1918 – Mons, Belgium. Died of wounds in 148th (RN) Field Ambulance, aged 19
Cemetery: Nouvelles Communal Cemetery, France – Grave: On the East side.
Memorial Inscription: ‘The Lord bless him and keep him and give him peace.’
War Office Information: Son of Henry Francis and Mary Ann Walpole, of 26, Wood St., Geddington, Northants.

Personal Information

Harry Walpole was the youngest of  Henry Francis & Mary Ann Walpole (nee Moore)’s children and with four older brothers he had plenty of male role models to follow. He was born on 19th July 1899, in Geddington and baptised in St Mary Magdalene on 27th August 1899. He later became a bellringer there and a member of the church choir like so many of his friends.

All five Walpole sons, the largest number from any family in Geddington, served during the war, but only Harry is listed as an Able Seaman. He enlisted on 11th September 1917 and was wounded twice and returned to the theatre of war for the third time on 2nd October 1918.

Francis William                4th East Surrey             Private                  07/09/14 – 02/10/14

Charles Henry                 1st Northants                Sergeant                30/11/14 – 24/02/19

John Wilfred                    4th Middlesex               Corporal                08/12/15 – 30/04/19

Samuel Jackson              Machine Gun Corps       Corporal               23/01/17 – 22/04/19

Harold Edgar                Anson Batt RNVR          Able Seaman           13/09/17 – 11/11/18

In his book ‘Geddington at War’ Melvyn Hopkins explains ‘At the outbreak of war in 1914 there was a vast surplus of naval reservists. To use this surplus the Royal Naval Division came into being with battalions named after famous admirals of the past – Anson being one of them. Then, in 1916 the RND went to the Western Front, the battalion names being retained, as were the naval ranks and customs. All ranks wore khaki.’

November 1918 saw the signing of the Armistice; the church bells were rung and most workers were given a holiday. A service of thanksgiving was held in the church. However, in the first week of December Harry’s parents received the news from the Admiralty that he had died on 11th November 1918, a day after being wounded.  It must have been devastating news and 26 Wood Street must have been a home of very mixed emotions at that time.

Harry is buried in the cemetery at Nouvelles, near Mons. There are just 8 named graves there.

1901 Census: 13, Wood Street, Geddington
Henry F Walpole (father); Aged 34; bricklayer’s labourer; b. Geddington
Mary A Walpole (mother); Aged 41; b. Geddington
Amy C Walpole (sister); Aged 13; b. Geddington
Francis W Walpole (brother); Aged 11; b. Geddington
John W Walpole (brother); Aged 9; b. Geddington
Samuel J Walpole (brother); Aged 7; b. Geddington
Charles H Walpole (brother); Aged 5; b. Geddington
Harold E Walpole; Aged 1; b. Geddington

1911 Census: Wood Street, Geddington
Henry Walpole (father); Aged 44; bricklayer – married 24 years
Mary Ann Walpole (mother); Aged 51 – 6 children, all living
Francis Walpole (brother); Aged 21; bricklayers labourer
Jackson Walpole (brother); Aged 19; general labourer
Charles Walpole (brother); Aged 15; assistant porter & gardener
Harold Walpole; Aged 11

Military: Entered 11/9/17; Draft for BEF 5/4/18, joined Anson Bn. 8/4/18-22/5/18 wounded, returned to duty 23/5/18-25/8/18 GSW right leg, rejoined Anson Bn. 2/10/18-10/11/18 wounded.

The website team wish to acknowledge the invaluable resources from ‘Geddington at War’ by Melvyn Hopkins and ‘Geddington as it was’ by Monica Rayne. Other source material has been taken from public records, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission and local newspaper reports.

We hope all the information is accurate. Please let us know if you find any errors.

In recognising the men named on the war memorial we also want to remember those others from the 170 men from the village who saw it as their duty to fight for a freedom they valued. They could not have known at what cost it would come.

To paraphrase Harry’s inscription:

The Lord bless them and keep them and give them peace

In Flanders Fields……William White

Today’s post takes a small liberty with the conventional alphabetical order of the names of the fallen. We hope you will understand the poignancy of this decision when you read tomorrow’s final tribute to the men of the village.


William Turner WHITE

Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

Amara War Cemetery

Amara War Cemetery, Mesopotamia

Rank: Private
Service No: 20172
Regiment/Service: Norfolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion
Date of Death: 26/02/1917, Died of wounds, aged 37
Cemetery: Amara War Cemetery, Mesopotamia (Iraq) – Grave: XXIX. B. 57/66.

Personal Information

William was born in Geddington to his mother Mary Elizabeth White and was christened in the church on 24th April 1880. He lived with his grandparents as he was growing up but, by 1911, he lived as a boarder with the Patrick family on Wood Street.

William married Lilian Annie Elliot in 1915, to whom his effects of £2.7s 10d were sent after his death. With a further £3 in 1919.

William enlisted on 8th June 1916. His death in Mesopotamia, now modern day Iraq, and listed as the ‘Asiatic Theatre’, just over 6 months later, shows how far from home he had travelled in the service of his country. His grave, one of 4,000, lies in the cemetery on the banks of the Tigris some 520 miles from the sea.

Like his comrades, he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Census 1881: Queen Street, Geddington
Joseph White (grandfather), Aged 48, agricultural labourer, b. Geddington
Mary E White (mother), Aged 20, b. Geddington
Frederic J White (uncle), Aged 9, b. Geddington
Amy Reb. White (aunt), Aged 7, b. Geddington
Charles Hubert White (uncle), Aged 3, b. Geddington
William T White, Aged 1, b. Geddington.

Census 1891: Malting Lane, Geddington
Joseph White (grandfather), Aged 58; agricultural labourer
Rebecca White (grandmother), Aged 52; c. Caldecoat, Rutland
Frederic J White (uncle); Aged 19; labourer carter
Charles H White (uncle); Aged 13; agricultural labourer
William T White; Aged 11

Census 1901: Malting Lane, Geddington
Joseph White (grandfather); Aged 68; on Parish Relief
Rebecca White (grandmother); Aged 62
Frederick White (uncle); Aged 29; labourer on a Farm
Charles White (uncle); Aged 22; ironstone labourer
William White; Aged 21; leather dresser

Census 1911: Wood Street, Geddington (boarder)
William Turner White; Aged 31, ironstone labourer

In Flanders Fields….. Frederick Townley

Frederick TOWNLEY

Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

Picture of Frederick Townley

Frederick Townley

Rank: Private
Service No: G/25267
Regiment/Service: The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) – 1st Battalion
Date of Death: 14/04/1918 – Killed in action, aged 19
Memorial: Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium – Panel 1 and 2.
War Office Information: Son of Ruth Townley, of Wood Street, Geddington, Kettering, Northants, and the late Samuel Lee Townley.

Personal Information

Frederick was born in late  1898 in Geddington, the younger of Samuel and Ruth’s sons. He was baptised at St Mary Magdalene on New Year’s Day 1899.

From an early age the evidence would suggest that Frederick was full of life and not one to be constrained by rules. His name appears (amongst many others of his friends) several times in the school punishment book for being ‘idle and disorderly’ and for ‘stonethrowing at playtime’. The headteacher ‘Tuggy’ Wilkins could not have known then what a brave and honourable boy he had in his school.

At the end of his school days he worked in the offices of the ‘Kettering Leader’ and ‘Telegraph’.

He was not eligible to enlist because he was too young, but that did not deter Frederick who went to enlist at the Kettering station on 18 Oct 1915 to the Royal Field Artillery.  Three weeks later on 9th November 1915 he was discharged when his true age came to light. When he rejoined it was to the 1st Battalion, Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment.

His military record shows that ‘death was assumed’ on 14th April 1918, but his parents did not know he was missing until the end of May 1918. He has no known grave, but is remembered at Ploegsteert. He was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War medal posthumously.

1901 Census: Wood Road [sic], Geddington
Samuel Townley (father); Aged 37; carpenter; b. Geddington
Ruth Townley (mother); Aged 37; b. Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire
Charles Townley; Aged 6; b. Geddington
Mabel (Isobel)Townley (sister); Aged 5; b. Geddington
Frederick Townley (brother); Aged 2; b. Geddington
Dinah Townley (grandmother); Aged 83; b. Geddington

1911 Census: Wood Street, Geddington
Sidney Townley (father); Aged 47; estate carpenter – married 17 years
Ruth Townley (mother); Aged 47 – 3 children (all living)
Charles Townley; Aged 16; farm labourer
Isobel Townley (sister); Aged 15
Fred Townley (brother); Aged 12

In Flanders Fields….Charles Townley


Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

Picture of Charles Townley

Charles Townley

Rank: Driver
Service No: 234526
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery – 210th Brigade – H.Q.
Date of Death: 09/11/1918 – Died of pneumonia following wounds, aged 24
Cemetery: Geddington (St. Mary Magdalene) Churchyard – Grave: North of church Ref: C70
Memorial Inscription: 234526 Driver CHARLES TOWNLEY, Royal Field Artillery, 9th November 1918 aged 24.
‘He fought the fight, The victory won, And entered into rest.’
War Office Information: Son of Samuel and Ruth Townley, of Wood Street, Geddington.

Personal Information

Charles died just before the Armistice was agreed, having been sent home to England following wounds received in the ‘great advance’. He died in York Military Hospital. For his parents Samuel Lee and Ruth Townley (nee Mace) it was the second loss in the year as Charles’ brother Frederick had died in April 1918

His father Samuel Lee Townley, was a carpenter and worked on the Boughton Estate. He was  born in 1864 in Geddington and died 1921 as the memorial to his two sons was being erected.

Siblings: Isabel (Mabel) Townley 1896-1943
Frederick (see his entry)

Charles was born in 1894 in Geddington and was baptised there on 24 June 1894. He later became a member of the church choir and was the third one from that choir to give his life for his country. The choir at the time was so good that people would walk from Kettering on a Sunday evening just to hear the singing. In her book ‘Geddington as it was’ Monica Rayne describes Bill Hopkins’ recollection of Charlie, ‘his old mate’ :

‘He used to sing the Magnificat solo and when Charlie got up (to sing) you could hear a pin drop’

1901 Census: Wood Road [sic], Geddington
Samuel Townley (father); Aged 37; carpenter; b. Geddington
Ruth Townley (mother); Aged 37; b. Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire
Charles Townley; Aged 6; b. Geddington
Mabel (Isobel)Townley (sister); Aged 5; b. Geddington
Frederick Townley (brother); Aged 2; b. Geddington
Dinah Townley (grandmother); Aged 83; b. Geddington

1911 Census: Wood Street, Geddington
Sidney Townley (father); Aged 47; estate carpenter – married 17 years
Ruth Townley (mother); Aged 47 – 3 children (all living)
Charles Townley; Aged 16; farm labourer
Isobel Townley (sister); Aged 15
Fred Townley (brother); Aged 12

In Flanders Fields…..Frederick Stanton… Roland Stanton

In this post we record the lives of two brothers, born two years apart but together to the end.

Both Frederick and Roland enlisted on 14th September 1914 in the 11th Battalion of the Essex Regiment. Their service numbers were: 15112 and 15113

They fought together at Loos and died together on 26th September 1915. They have no known grave.

Along with others from the village who served in the Essex Regiment, the brothers were reported as wounded in October 1915, but in November, official notification to their parents listed them as ‘missing’ in the last great charge.

It seems only right to remember them together.

Dud Corner Cemetery (Loos Memorial) stands almost on the site of a German strong point, the Lens Road Redoubt, captured by the 15th (Scottish) Division on the first day of the battle. The name “Dud Corner” is believed to be due to the large number of unexploded enemy shells found in the neighbourhood after the Armistice. The Loos Memorial commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who have no known grave, who fell in the area from the River Lys to the old southern boundary of the First Army, east and west of Grenay, from the first day of the Battle of Loos to the end of the war. On either side of the cemetery is a wall 15 feet high, to which are fixed tablets on which are carved the names of those commemorated. At the back are four small circular courts, open to the sky, in which the lines of tablets are continued, and between these courts are three semicircular walls or apses, two of which carry tablets, while on the centre apse is erected the Cross of Sacrifice. The memorial was designed by Sir Herbert Baker with sculpture by Charles Wheeler. It was unveiled by Sir Nevil Macready on 4 August 1930.

Arthur Frederick Aubrey STANTON

Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

Loos Memorial

Loos Memorial

Rank: Private
Service No: 15113
Regiment/Service: Essex Regiment 11th Battalion
Died: 26/09/1915 – Killed in action, aged 24
Memorial: Loos Memorial, France – Panel 85 to 87.

Personal Information

Parents: Arthur and Ellen Stanton, Grafton Road Geddington
Born: 1891

1901 Census: Grafton Road, Geddington
Arthur Stanton (head) aged 44, Land Surveyor
Ellen Stanton (spouse); Aged 44;
May Stanton (daughter); Aged 19; dressmaker
Ive Stanton (daughter); Aged 14; b. Geddington
Lizzie Stanton (daughter); Aged 12; b. Geddington

Frederick Stanton (son) aged 10; b. Geddington

Roland Stanton (son) aged 8; b Geddington

Roland Charles STANTON

Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

Loos Memorial

Loos Memorial

Rank: Private
Service No: 15112
Regiment/Service: Essex Regiment 11th Battalion
Date of Death: 26/09/1915 – Killed in action, aged 22
Memorial: Loos Memorial, France – Panel 85 to 87.

Personal Information

Parents: Arthur & Ellen Stanton
Born:  1892
Baptised: 25 Sep 1892 Geddington

1901 Census: Grafton Road, Geddington (next to the Priory)
Arthur Stanton (head); Aged 44; land surveyor; b. Hinxworth, Herts
Ellen Stanton (wife); Aged 44; b. West Grinstead, Sussex
May Stanton (daughter); Aged 19; dressmaker; b. Moreton, Essex
Ive Stanton (daughter); Aged 14; b. b. Geddington
Lizzie Stanton (daughter); Aged 12; b. Geddington           
Frederick Stanton (son); Aged 10; b. Geddington 
Roland Stanton; Aged 8;
b. Geddington                               

In Flanders Fields….Ernest Slough

Ernest William SLOUGH

Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

St. Patrick's Cemetery

St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Loos

Rank: Private
Service No: 33582
Regiment/Service: Bedfordshire Regiment 6th Battalion
Died: 19/02/1917, aged 20
Cemetery: St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Loos, France – Grave: III. A. 30.

Personal Information

The Slough family were an established family in Geddington. William & Sarah Jane Slough, Ernest’s parents, had their home in West Street and he grew up there. He was born and baptised in October 1897. He enlisted in Kettering on 8th August 1916 and went out to France in January 1917. He initially joined the Northants Battalion before moving to the Bedfordshire Regiment.

Ernest was a keen bellringer at the church and in March 1917 a muffled peal was rung in his honour by his fellow ringers.

1901 Census: West Street, Geddington
William Slough (father); Aged 37; ironstone labourer; b. Geddington
Sarah J Slough (mother):Aged 37; b. Brigstock
John Slough (brother); Aged 10; b. Geddington
Fred Slough (brother); Aged 8; b. Geddington
Nellie Slough (sister); Aged 5; b. Geddington
Ernest W Slough; Aged 3; b. Geddington

1911 Census: West Street, Geddington
William Slough (father); Aged 47; farm labourer – married 21 years
Sarah Jane Slough (mother); Aged 47 – 7 children, all living
Fred Slough (brother); Aged 18; ironstone labourer
Nellie Slough (brother); Aged 14; domestic servant
Ernest W Slough; Aged 13; boot heel builder
Winnifred Slough (sister); Aged 8; b. Geddington
Herbert P Slough (brother); Aged 5; b. Geddington
Walter R Slough (brother); Aged 4; Geddington

In Flanders Fields…..Frederick Simons

Frederick John SIMONS

Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

Le Touret Memorial

Le Touret Memorial

Rank: Private
Service No: 13285
Regiment/Service: Northamptonshire Regiment 1st Battalion
Died: 09/05/1915 – Killed in action, aged 21
Memorial: Le Touret Memorial, France – Panel 28 to 30.
War Office Information: Son of Mrs. E. E. Simons.

Personal Information

His mother was Eleanor Simons and according to his military records he had a brother Alfred and a sister Evelyn. He was not born in Geddington but in St John’s Wood , Middlesex, but enlisted in Northampton on 31st August 1914.

He lived with his aunt, Mrs Clark and worked in Kettering.

His battalion saw action at Aubers Ridge where he was killed in action on May 9th 1915 alongside George Miller of West Street Geddington. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Fred was one of several Geddington men remembered in a memorial service in the church in November 1915

In Flanders Fields……Sidney Rich

Sidney RICH

Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery

Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery

Rank: Private
Service No: 2269
Regiment/Service: East Surrey Regiment 9th Battalion
Date of Death: 26/09/1915, Killed in action, aged 35
Cemetery: Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France – Grave: XI. E. 1.

Personal Information

The census information reveals a complicated family life and changes in circumstances for the young Sydney. His parents were William Henry & Sarah Jane Hammett (nee Rich) and he was born in Northampton in 1880

His Marriage to Rebecca Denton Roberts took place in 1903 and they had three children;
William Sidney Rich (b. 1903)
Lucy Mary Rich (b. 1910)  Lucy was baptised in Weldon church.
Stanley Leonard Rich (b. 1914)

Sydney enlisted in Kettering. His service record states ‘26.9.15 death presumed’

Cabaret-Rouge Cemetery near Souchez is the last resting place of over 7,500 British servicemen. It was named after the distinctive red brick cafe which stood at the heart of the village before it was destroyed by heavy shelling in May 1915.

1881 Census: 11, Brier Court, Northampton
William H Hammett (father); Aged 37; shoe riveter; b. Finsbury
Sarah J Hammett (mother); Aged 29; b. Southwick, Sussex
Francis E Hammett (brother); Aged 11; b. Lewes, Sussex
Harry Hammett (brother); Aged 9; b. Northampton
Emily L Hammett (sister); Aged 7; b. Northampton
Agnes E Hammett (sister); Aged 5; b. Northampton
William Hammett (brother); Aged 2; b. Birmingham
Sidney Hammett; Aged 2 months; b. Northampton

1891 Census: Althorp Street, Northampton
Sarah Hammett (mother); Aged 39; charwoman
Harry Hammett (brother); Aged 19; labourer
William Hammett (brother); Aged 13
Sidney Hammett; Aged 11
Mary A Hammett (sister); Aged 7; b. Northampton

1901 Census: 29, Tresham Street, Kettering
Sidney Rich; Aged 21; builders carter
Mary Rich; Aged 18; boot fitter

1911 Census: Wood Road; Geddington
Sidney Rich; Aged 30; ironstone labourer – married 7 years
Rebecca Rich; Aged 28 – 3 children, 2 living
William Sidney Rich; Aged 7; b. Geddington
Lucy Mary Rich; Aged 10 month; b, Geddington

In Flanders Fields…..Henry Reece

Henry William REECE

Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

Picture of Henry Reece

Henry Reece

Rank: Sergeant [sic]
Service No: 3/11042
Regiment/Service: Northamptonshire Regiment – 1st Battalion
Died: 03/07/1915, aged 33
Cemetery: Quarry Cemetery, Vermelles, France – Grave: A. 28
Memorial Inscription: ‘Their memory shall not be blotted out.’
War Office Information: Husband of Edith M Durrant (formerly Reece), of Grange Road, Geddington, Kettering.

Personal Information

Henry was born to George John & Emma Reese nee Palmer (also recorded as Reece) in 1881 and baptised in Geddington church on 27th November 1881

His marriage  to Edith Mary Forrest  took place in the church in Newton in the Willows on 20th May 1907. She was just 18 and required the consent of her guardian.

Henry Reece signed up on  14th August 1914 and left the village to rejoin his old regiment, the Grenadier Guards, along with others whose names we have already recorded or will record in the days to come. He later transferred to the Northamptonshire Regiment and was promoted first to Corporal and then to Sergeant. He left for France on 8th June 1915 and was killed less than a month later when a shell exploded in the trench. He was initially buried close to the battle line and now lies in the cemetery at Vermelles.

His ‘effects’ from his war service of £8 18s 1d were sent to his sole legatee, his widow Edith, who now had two children to bring up alone.

1891 Census: West Street, Geddington
William Palmer (grandfather); Aged 70; agricultural labourer; b. Geddington
Sarah Palmer (grandmother); Aged 68; b. Geddington
Emma Reese (mother); Aged 30; Widow; laundress; b. Geddington
Henry Reese; Aged 9; b. Geddington
George Reese (brother); Aged 8; b. Stanion

1901 Census: West Street, Geddington
Joseph Holding (stepfather); Aged 36; ironstone labourer; b. Geddington
Emma Holding (mother); Aged 41; b. Geddington
Sarah Holding (stepsister); Aged 7; b. Geddington
Florence Holding (stepsister); Aged 5; b. Geddington
Joseph E Holding (stepbrother); Aged 3; b. Geddington
Thomas W Holding (stepbrother); Aged 1; b. Geddington
Henry W Reese; Aged 19; Ironstone labourer; b. Stanion
George J Reese (brother); Aged 18; boot heel builder

1911 Census: Bridge End, Bridge Street, Geddington
Henry William Reece; Aged 30; ironstone labourer – married 3 years
Edith Mary Reece (wife); Aged 21; b. Pipewell
Gladys Winifred Reece (daughter); Aged 3; b. Geddington
Sarah Forrest (relative); Aged 80; b. Messingham, Lincs.

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