Corporal G/6835 1st Battalion, The Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment
Merrick Carey was the son of Caroline Carey. He was born at Seaford in Sussex, and the 1911 census records that he was then a shepherd boy. He gave his address as 1 Church Mews Seaford when he enlisted in Guildford 17 November 1915 (TNA WO363/C353/2093465).
The electoral register for 1918 gives Walter and Alice Mary Carey at Ingleside in Station Road Ash Vale. Mrs Carey sent a letter to the Ash War Memorial committee to say that Merrick Carey was their nephew, who lived with them and had worked at the ASC Aldershot, and that he had been killed by the bursting of a shell.
Private G/6915 11th Battalion, The Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment
William Colyer was born in Tongham, the son of Samuel and Susannah Jane Colyer. In 1881 the census records that Samuel Colyer was a market gardener with a nursery in Tongham.
The family had moved to Ash by 1894, where they lived in a farmhouse in Ash Street (now 65 Ash Street). Samuel Colyer was Post Master between 1897 and 1907; and 1911 the census records that William and his father were both market gardeners and the lived in the “late post office”. William’s relative, Mrs S Collyer, still lived in Ash Street in 1918 when plans were being made for the Ash War Memorial.
William Colyer enlisted at Aldershot 16 November 1915. He gave his address as Old Post Office, Ash, and his occupation as market gardener. He was 5 feet 7½ inches tall with a 35 inch chest, weighed 131 lbs and his eyesight was good. He served in Italy and France. (TNA WO363/C1523/2144943)
Corporal 51339 16th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Charles Howard was born in Gillingham Kent in 1888. He joined the Army Service Corps (S/26808) in Aldershot in August 1908, for 3 years. He was butcher, aged 19 and was 5 feet 6¾ inches tall and weighed 149lbs. He was described as “A good butcher and a clean and respectable lad” and as “Sober, honest, reliable, does his work very satisfactorily”. Amongst his service records is what seems to be a reference from W Lee and Son, Family Butchers of Victoria Street, Gillingham.
In November 1910 he extended his service to 7 years with the colours, and he was sent to France 10 August 1914. He married Maud Mary Randell at St Peter’s Church Ash Vale on 8 November 1915. He was compulsorily transferred, in the interests of the service, to the Cheshire Regiment 24 September 1917; and his wife, living at 2 Sydney Villas, Frimley Road, Ash Vale, heard of his death 21 November 1917. She was sent his medals, including his 1914 Star, in 1922.
Whilst in the Army, Charles was in the Cambridge Military Hospital number of times. Just after joining up he dislocated his humerus; in 1909 he cut his finger whilst on duty slaughtering a bullock at the abattoir in Aldershot; in October 1911 he strained his back whilst weighing in frozen beef at the Supply Depot; in November 1911 his knee gave way whilst playing football; and from May to August 1914 he suffered from scabies. He was also in Fleet Cottage Hospital when the census was taken in 1911.
Corporal 41703 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers
Reginald Knowles was born 1st October and baptised “Ernest Reginald” at St Peter’s Church 21 October 1883, and was the son of Charles and Matilda Knowles of Ash Vale. The census records that he was boarding in Ash in 1901.
In March 1903 he joined the Northamptonshire Regiment (6957). He had previously been in the Royal Army Medical Corps Militia, and he was a labourer and was 5 feet 4¼ inches tall and weighed 119 lbs. He was posted to South Africa and India. In 1911 he was still a soldier and the census records him living with his sister Lucy Straight in Essex. He served with the Expenditionary Force from 12 August 1914 to 21 November 1915, and was awarded the 1914 Star. On 13 November 1915 he suffered burns to his face and hand whilst carrying out routine duties in the trenches and he was sent back to England on 22 November 1915. He was discharged 29 March 1916 on the termination of his first period of engagement.
He was recalled in June 1916, and on 20 July 1916 he re-enlisted with the Northamptonshire Regiment (26940). He gave his sister’s address and his occupation as a porter with the Great Eastern Railway. He had previously served 13 years in the same regiment. On 25 July 1916 he became a Corporal and then in November reverted to private again at his own request. On 22 September 1916 went to France, and on 19 December 1916 transferred to 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (10166) and was promoted to Corporal again.
On 15 December 1917 he married Christine Harriett Tayler in Holy Trinity Church Selhurst.
In January 1918 he transferred to Royal Irish Fusiliers (41703), and he was “missing presumed dead” on 11 April 1918.
When he died his relatives included his step mother Annie Knowles of the Ash Wharf boathouse, his step brother and sister Charles and Gladys, and his sister Lucy Straight. His wife Christine was sent his plaque and memorial scroll. In 1919 she was living in Croydon and in 1922 she was living in Brighton. His medals had been sent to his sister in error.
Annie Knowles lived in 1 Osgood Cottages in Wharf Road.
Lance Serjeant 10909 "C" Coy 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers
Harry Taylor was born in Dagshai, Punjab, India, the son of Frederick Walter Taylor.
The 1911 census records that the family were living in Dilkhusha in Cuthbert Road, and that his father was a retired Army schoolmaster who now worked as a clerk for Messrs Dickeson Army contractors.
Harry Taylor was one of the 35 old boys and evening class students from Ash Vale School who had enlisted and whose names were on the School Roll of Honour in 1915.
A form completed for Ash War Memorial committee records that he was on active service in France from 5 January 1918 until he was killed in a counter attack made during the great retreat near St Quentin.
Mr Frederick Walter Taylor is recorded as living at 1 Range Cottages in Cuthbert Road Ash Vale in the 1918 electoral register.