Posts Tagged ‘East Surrey Regiment’

Remembering Frederick Honey of Kew Gardens died WW1 17 April 1917

April 17, 2017



Second panel, Kew Gardens War Memorial D – M C.L. Digoy to P.T. Martin Image: Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens Project

Sergeant Frederick Honey, G/20245, 8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment or the Buffs (East Kent) Regiment, ‘died of wounds’ 17 April 1917, aged 28.

He is buried at Grave Reference I. K. 16, Chocques Military Cemetery. This was located next to No.1 Casualty Clearing Station for casualties from the Bethune area.


Chocques Military Cemetery (Image source: CWGC)

He is listed as the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Honey, of 64, Alexandra Rd., Richmond; husband of Ellen May Honey, of 17, Darell Rd., Richmond, Surrey.

His CWGC entry mentions no inscription chosen by family on his headstone, which is pictured on the TWGPP website.

He is mentioned in a list of “Gangers, labourers and boys” in Kew’s 1914 staff list and as one of “six Members of the labouring staff killed in action” in the Kew Guild Journal 1919 Roll of Honour.

8th Battalion East Surrey Regiment WW1

The 8th (Service) Battalion landed at Boulogne-sur-Mer as part of the 55th Brigade in the 18th (Eastern) Division in July 1915 also for service on the Western Front.

The battalion fought at the Battle of Loos and the Battle of the Somme.

One particular incident will always be remembered. On the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916, B Company of the 8th Battalion went into the attack dribbling two footballs which the Company Commander, Captain Wilfred Nevill, had bought for his platoons to kick across No Man’s Land.

Captain Nevill and many of his men were killed during the advance, but the 8th Surreys were one of the few battalions to reach and hold their objective on this day. The ‘Football Attack’ caught the imagination of the country, and illustrations of it are shown in the Regimental Museum, which also contains one of the footballs used. On that day, the 8th Battalion won two DSOs, two MCs, two DCMs and nine MMs, but 446 officers and men were killed or wounded.

Frederick Honey, remembered 100 years later, 17 April 1917 / 2017.

On Ancestry U.K. one family tree entry for Frederick Alfred Honey lists him on the 1911 census as a Gardener’s Labourer (Board Of Agriculture). There is also a photograph of him with his brother Christopher Thomas Honey, Royal Garrison Artillery, who died of wounds in France on 12 June 1917. 

A double loss for this family.

Blogposted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens project, Newquay Zoo.


Remembering Ernest George Gentry Natural History Museum died Ypres 13 July 1915

July 13, 2015

Ernest George Gentry of the British Museum (Natural  History) was killed in Ypres, Flanders, Belgium on 13 July 1915. As Ernest Gentry has no known grave, he is remembered on Panel 34 of  the Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial to the missing.

cwgc menin

He died serving as a Lance Corporal, no. 6896 in the 2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment on 13 July 1915.

Working for what is now the Natural History Museum, his name is included on the staff war memorial near the entrance.

According to his WW1 medal record cards (including a 1915 Star), after enlisting in Shepherds Bush, Middlesex and undergoing training, he entered the France ‘Theatre of War’ on 25 May 2015. He appears to have been amongst reinforcements to this regular army battalion which arrived in France in January 1915.

The website has digitised the original typed war diaries which record day by day what happened to the 2nd East Surreys. The website records of the 2nd East Surreys  that “of the 1000 who went up the line [in 1915] only 200 survived in just 5 days of action.”

I can’t find a surviving WW1  service record for Ernest Gentry. Other Ranks are not mentioned by name in the unit’s war diary. Gentry may have been amongst the draft of 25 men who arrived on 27th or the 119 who arrived on 28th May 1915.

The 2nd Battalion East Surreys (The Glasgow Grays) were being reinforced for losses sustained in an earlier gas attack and fighting during the Battles of St Julien and Frezenberg as part of the 2nd Battle of Ypres, 22 April to 25 May 1915.

On the 13th July the Battalion was in trenches again “casualties to noon killed two, wounded 2” including 2 /Lt. F. L.Carter , a “Quiet day”.

One of those casualties was likely to have been Gentry, who has no known grave.  The other 2nd East Surrey casualty is probably Private H. F. Aldridge killed on 12 July 1915 and reburied at Voormzeele Enclosure No. 3 Cemetery, Ypres.

The Natural History Museum archives website lists Gentry’s museum career as being appointed ‘boy attendant’ in Department of Zoology around 8 May 1899 (corroborated by an entry in the Edinburgh Gazette 9/5/99 p. 463 Civil Service Commission), becoming an attendant 26 August 1903 and transferring to the Department of Botany in 1910.

Ernest was born in 6 May 1884 to Richard Gentry, a Police Sergeant (1891) living in Fulham and later (1907) Travelling Agent. Ernest had 6 surviving sisters and brothers who thankfully survived the war.

In the 1911 census Ernest is listed as a Civil Servant (Attendant) at 32 Delvino Road, Fulham alongside his growing family.  On 28 March 1907  he married Hilda Mary French (1887-1952)  of 25 Onslow Gardens, Kensington, daughter of Joshua French, an Engineer.  By the time he died, they had several young children: Dorothy Hilda Gentry (1908-1987), Ernest Charles Gentry (1909-1996) and George Richard Gentry (1912-1982)

Ernest George Gentry, remembered. 


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