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Armistice Day: Stithians Parish History Group's booklet remembers the Fallen

Every parish has war memorials honouring the young men who gave their lives for their country but sadly, as time goes on, less and less is known about them and the families who received the dreaded telegrams reporting their deaths, writes Robert Jobson. This week across Cornwall there will be villages and towns where centenary exhibitions are being displayed in churches, chapels and community centres to tell us more, giving their place and date of birth, their families, where they lived and how they died. Fifteen years ago the Stithians Parish History Group laid a template for this with their booklet “The Fallen Heroes of Two World wars”, honouring those to whom the current generation owe their existence and freedom with portraits and profiles.

At the top of Stithians’ roll of honour, presented in alphabetical order, is Private Joseph Andrew. Born in 1894, he served in the Territorial 1st/4th Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry and was buried at Ramleh War Cemetery in Israel in April 1918. Another farmer’s son was Private Thomas Choak.

He enlisted in the Devonshire Regiment whose records state that, at the age of 20, he was shot by a sniper in October 1917 in ‘France and Flanders’ and buried at the Hooge Crater Cemetery, Ypres. Edward Collins, 21, enlisted against his father’s wishes with brother-in-law Morley Goldsworthy, 25. Both served in the DCLI.

They died within two days of each other in April 1917: Edward, awarded the Military Medal, in France and Morley in Greece. Garfield Hugh, 22, enlisted at Falmouth with the DCLI in September 1914 and died in November 1917 on the France and Flanders Front. Awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, he too was buried in the Hooge Crater Cemetery at Ypres.

Richard Jones, of Carnmenellis, was 19 and serving in the 1st Battalion DCLI when he died in November 1914. Brothers James and John Knuckey died in 1917, aged 23 and 21. Both were staying in Australia with brothers when war broke out and enlisted in the Australian Infantry.

James died in France along with thousands of his comrades charging and securing German machine guns, while John was killed when capturing an enemy pill box. Joseph Martin, 22, served in the Royal Berkshire Regiment and was awarded two war medals. He was injured in battle in France and brought back to a military hospital in Nottingham where he died in December 1917.

He was buried in Stithians. William Moyle, 26, of the Royal Army Service Corps, came home in 1918 only to be ordered back to Germany in February 1919 to be demobbed. Travelling in an open truck in very cold conditions, he contracted pneumonia and died in a Bonn hospital.

Private Thomas Moyle enlisted in the Durham Light Infantry at the age of 18, went to France and died in Belgium when he was shot by a sniper while serving next to another Stithians man, Jack James. Joseph Pascoe, 22, a driver in the Army Service Corps, died in December 1916 in a military hospital in Croydon within three months of getting married, while Pioneer Charles Sleeman, 29, of the Royal Engineers, died in March 1919 in a casualty clearing station in France after serving for two years and 19 days. Robert Trerise, 22, of the Royal Garrison Artillery, died in France in June 1918; Arthur Trevail, 24, of the Royal Field Artillery, died in October 1916 and was buried at Lesboeufs in France; while Alfonso Vincent,of the Worcestershire Regiment, was one of 72,000 men from Britain and South Africa who died on the Somme and have no known grave.

Blacksmith Harry Williams, 20, served as an armourer’s crewman in the Royal Navy, having enlisted in 1916, and survived the war, only to die at his home in Trembroath, Stithians, three days before his 21st birthday.

Charles Winn, of the Lancashire Fusilliers, was born the seventh of eight children of Edward and Sarah Winn, of Trolvis.

He died in France in August 1918 and his grave is in the Sucrerie Military Cemetery in Colincamps.

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