Muswell Hill Methodist Church War Memorial

Photo:click to enlarge

click to enlarge

By Elaine Abson

The names are engraved on two Portland stone plaques which were originally positioned on the oak panelling at the back of the Church in Colney Hatch Lane. When the Church moved to Pages Lane they were placed in the Narthex.


1st  World War

THOMAS RICHARD BRENTON was born in 1896 in Clifton, Gloucestershire to Samuel and Mary Evelyn Brenton (nee Richards). His father Samuel died in 1898 age 39 and his mother married again on 12th June 1905 to Henry Whitfield in Stapleton, Gloucestershire.  In 1911 the family was living in Kenwood, Coppetts Road.

He enlisted in Wood Green and served as a Private (Service No 12103) in the Royal Army Medical Corps, 57th Field Ambulance. He was killed in action on the Western Front 20th September 1917 and buried in the Locre Hospice Cemetery in Belgium (11 B2).

SYDNEY (ERNEST JOHN) CUTHBERT was born in Teddington in October 1897, the son of Ernest John (John Ernest) Cuthbert and Rose Jane (nee Wood). His mother died in 1903 and father in 1904. In 1911 he was living in the Stockwell Orphanage for Fatherless Boys and Girls.

He enlisted at Plumstead on 4th November 1915 and at the time was living at 25 Muswell Hill Place and was a clerk. He was 5ft 8 ins tall, wore glasses and weighed 8 – 9 stone. He gave his next of kin as his Uncle (George Martin) living at the same address. He served as a driver (Service No T4/237798) in the Army Service Corps Secondary Group attached to 173 Infantry Brigade. He was killed in action in France on 23rd March 1918 . There was some difficulty contacting his next of kin as his uncle had moved to 12 Hargrave Park, Upper Holloway. He is commemorated on Panel 95 of the Pozieres Memorial in France.

RUFUS PHILIP FORD was born at Ryde (IOW) on 29th January 1887 to Thomas Ford and Alice Sophia (nee Love). He had 5 brothers, Henry, Garnet, Frank, Frederick and Osman and 2 sisters, Lenore and Elsie.  Lenore married Ernest E Axtens in 1901. In 1911 he is living with the Axtens at 36 Glasslyn Road, Crouch End and is a grocer’s assistant. He was an orchardist/fruit farmer, 5ft 11ins with brown eyes and dark brown hair.

Before going to Australia in 1913 he had served for 2 years with the 5th Hampshire VB and transferred to the British South African Police for 1½ years until he was invalided out. He was then in Montenegro with the British Red Cross Society during the Balkan War (1912/13).

In 1914/15 he married Grace Marion Lovely in Semaphore, South Australia.  He enlisted on 9 August 1915 in the Australian Infantry 10th Bn as a Private, received his commission on 16 Dec 1915 and embarked from Adelaide on 29th March 1916 to the Western Front.  He was promoted to Lieutenant and spent some weeks, in  Spring  1917, in or attending 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, with psoriasis. During some of this time he stayed with the Axtens at 89 Roseberry Road , Muswell Hill. He was killed in action on 7th October 1917 at Celtic Wood near Ypres and buried there. He is commemorated on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial, Belgium, Panel 17

WILLIAM DUNSTAN GADSDEN was born in 1895 to Ernest Jesse Gadsden and Edith Mary (nee Galer).  In 1901 the family lived at Nettleden, Muswell Road and his father was a commercial traveller in timber (teak). He had 2 brothers, Ernest Jeffrey (1893) and Henry (1901). Ernest went to Australia and was a bank clerk in NSW. During the war he served with the Australian 7th Light Horse Regt. He survived and returned to Australia in 1919.

William enlisted at Enfield and was a Rifleman (Service No 3114) in the London Regt (The Rangers) 1st/12th Bn. He was killed in action on 8th May 1915 and is commemorated on Panel 54 of the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. His family lived at 24 Coldfall Avenue.

LIONEL BRYANT HODGE was born on 13th March 1894 in Hornsey to Arthur Bryant Hodge and Jane Elizabeth (nee Dow).  He attended St Laurence College Ramsgate. His father was a sugar merchant. He had 3 brothers, Arthur, Cecil and Gordon. In 1901 the family was living at 35 Queens Avenue.

He was a Captain in the London Regiment 2nd/22nd Bn and died of wounds on 10th November 1917. He is buried in the Kantara War Cemetery, Egypt (E457). [Mr A B Hodge was choirmaster at MHMC (Colney Hatch Lane) and paid for the oak panelling of the chancel in 1911.]

(SAMUEL) FRANK HUXHAM was born in Camberwell in 1879, the son of Samuel Huxham and Emma (nee Thompson). His father was a draper and in 1901 (age 21) he is shown as his assistant. He had 4 sisters, Mabel, Gertrude, Evelyn and Caroline. His mother died in 1910 and in 1911 his father and 2 sisters lived at 9 Eastwood Road, Muswell Hill. 

He was a Private (Service No 14064) in the Dorsetshire Regiment, 1st Bn. He died of wounds on 7th February 1917 in France. He is buried in the Beaumont-Hamel British Cemetery, Somme, France.

EWART HECTOR HYDE was born in 1896 in St Pancras to Harold Ethelred Hyde and Caroline Eliza (nee Hull). In 1901 he was living at 21 Vicars Road , St Pancras with his parents and sister, Mabel Caroline (1898) and brother, Alan Ethelred (1899). His father was a commercial clerk. 

He was a Private (Service No 231638) in the London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 2nd Bn, 169th Trench Mortar Bty. He was killed aged 21 on 28th March 1918 and is buried in VB3 Roclincourt Military Cemetery, France. He had served 3 years in France. His parents were then living at The Laurels, Church Path, North Finchley.

CECIL THOMAS JACKSON was born in Hornsey on 29th August 1896 to John Thomas Jackson and Dorcas Mary (nee Bowden). His father was a  builder and the family lived in Croyland House (named after Croyland Lincs, where his father was born), Colney Hatch Lane (between Pembroke Road and Hamden Road). He attended Tollington School. He had a brother, Alfred and 3 sisters, Maud, Rhoda and Lily.

He was a Lieutenant in the RAF/The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 1st/12th Bn. He was accidentally killed on 31st August 1918 and is buried in the Alexandria (Hadra ) War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt (B82). 

PERCY SPENCER JENKIN was born in Nassau, Bahamas in 1884, the son of James Jenkin, a Wesleyan Minister and Sarah. His father served as follows:1877 Gold Coast, W.Afr.l, 1878 Cape-Coast, 1880 New Providence, 1882 Abaco, 1885 Harbour- Island, 1887 Settle, 1890 Stainland, 1893 Clayton-le-Moors, 1896 Loughborough, Grantham.    He had a sister, Edith and 2 brothers, Owen and James. In 1911 he was Sec Div Clerk in the Civil Service and living with his family at 22 Whitehall Gardens, Chiswick. He married Wilhelmina E Best in 1911 in the Brentford area. They subsequently lived at 62 Wilton Road, Muswell Hill. They had 3 children, John R (1912), Muriel G (1914) and Olive M (1918).  

He enlisted at Hounslow as a Private (Service No 12371) in the Honorable Artillery Company 1st Reserve Bn. He died on 26th October 1918 and is buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery X11.D.9A

ERNEST ROBERT JOLLY was born in Crouch Hill on 15th January 1891 to George Jolly (65 Muswell Avenue) and Elizabeth (nee Warren). He attended Montern Street School, then St James School followed by Islington College. He was an elementary school teacher at St James Upper Holloway. He married Edith Grace Pantlin at the Wesleyan Church, Muswell Hill on 27th November 1915. 

He enlisted in the East Surrey Regiment on 29th March 1916 and served with the Expeditionary Force in France from July 1917. He was killed in action on 2nd October 1917 and buried where he fell. The chaplain said, “He was greatly respected by his comrades who respected his kind and loveable nature”. He was a Corporal when he died (service number 17705) and is commemorated at the New Irish Farm Cemetery, Belgium (ref XXXV B24).

EDWARD ALBERT NEWLAND was born on22 February 1889 in Hampstead to James Edward Newland and Ada Louise (nee Breeze).  He married Amy F Burn in 1911 in Romford and had 3 children, Amy Dorothy (1912), Winifred M (1914) and Kenneth Edward (1916).  Amy and Kenneth both married at MHMC. 

He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Fusiliers (24th Bn) and was killed in action on 23rd October 1918. He is buried in St Hilaire Les Cambrai British Cemetery, France (C1).

JOHN BENDALL OLIVER was born in 1884 in Muswell Hill to John Oliver and Emma (nee Bendall). In 1901 he and his widowed mother, who was a cleaner, were living in 3 Hope Cottages, Muswell Hill. He was a plumber’s mate. He married Alice Vernon in 1905 and in 1911 they were living at 4 St James Lane, Muswell Hill.  He had 2 (possibly 3) children, Margaret A (1911) and Agnes E (1914). (see comment below)

He enlisted in Harringay as a Rifleman (Service No 592697) in the London Regt (London Irish Rifles) 1st/18th Bn. He was killed in action on 2nd December 1917. He is commemorated on Panel 12 of the Cambrai Memorial, Louveral, France.

FRANK PHILLIPS was born in 1892 to Thomas Phillips and Emma.  He was a Private (service no 10332) in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 1st Bn. He was killed on 8th May 1915 (probably at Hill 60) and is commemorated at the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial Panel 47.  His family then lived at Bayford, Halliwick Road.

SYDNEY LEWIS POWELL was born on 2nd October 1888 in Brockley to William Powell and Susannah (nee Playfoot). He was educated at Kent College, Canterbury. In 1902 and 1911 his parents were living at 91 Widmore Rd, Bromley, Kent. Aged 22 he was working for a Woollen Agency.

He was a Captain in the Lancashire Fusiliers 16th Bn. He was killed, aged 28, on 12th July 1917 and is buried at 1B18, Nieuwpoort Communal Cemetery, Belgium. His parents were living at 26 Muswell Road, Muswell Hill. He is also commemorated on the Bromley Methodist Church War Memorial.

WILLIAM DEAN SHAW was born in 1895 to William Edwin Shaw and Mary (nee Bilton). In 1902 the family lived at 4 Clarence Villas, Colney Hatch Lane (between Hamden Road and Cromwell Road). In 1911 they had moved to 22 Windsor Road, Finchley Church End and his father was a retired bank clerk. He had 3 brothers Edwin, Leonard and Ernest and a sister Dorothy. 

He was a Rifleman (Service No 191) with the London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade) 5th Bn. He died, aged 19, on 31st March 1915 and is buried at IVMI Rifle House Cemetery, Belgium. His family lived at 6 Thirlmere Avenue, Muswell Hill.

RALPH SWANNELL was born in 1879 in the Hatfield area to Charles Swannell and Hannah Laura (nee Hine). He had brothers, Cecil and Charles and sisters, Emily, Hilda, Winifred and Audrey. He was 5ft 10ins tall. By 1911, his father had died and he was a commercial traveller (printer) living with his mother and 2 sisters at 4 Delaporte Gardens, Muswell Hill. 

He enlisted in the Honourable Artillery Company 1st Bn in May 1915 when he was living at 48 Alexandra Park Road. He was a Private (Service No 3520) and went to France on 21st July 1916. He was killed 9th May 1917 and is buried at XIX R7, Etaples Military Cemetery, France.

2nd World War

DOUGLAS CLAUDE AUGUST was born in Colchester in 1920 to Alfred Henry August and Maud (nee Everitt). He had 3 brothers, Denis, Kenneth and Alan. 

He was a Pilot Officer (Obs) (Service No 113904) in the RAFVR. He was killed in action over Cologne on 31st May 1942. He is buried/commemorated in Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Netherlands (16 H1). His parents were living in Muswell Hill. He appears on the Scouts Roll of Honour as Douglas (Chick) Claude August.                            His brother Kenneth was Scout Master at MHMC from 1951-4 and later another brother Alan took over the role.

PHILIP ATTERBURY AYTON was born in the Edmonton area in 1921 to Sydney Harry Ayton and Elsie Alice (nee Foster). He had 3 brothers, Sydney, Clive and Peter.

He was a Captain (Service No 184637) in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Special Boat Service SAS. He lived in North London, but his parents had moved to Eastbourne. He was killed, age 22, on 26th December 1943 commanding Operation Hardtack 28. This was an intelligence gathering mission from the occupied Channel Islands. The Commando Force landed at Petit Port Bay, Jersey on Christmas Day. On returning to the boats he stepped on a landmine and was fatally injured. He is buried Grave 136 at Dartmouth (Longcross) Cemetery.   He was awarded the Croix de Guerre posthumously.

PETER I BLIGH was born in 1919 in the Islington area to Thomas John Bligh and Ivy (nee Collins). He had a brother, Horace.  

He was a Sergeant (W.Op/Air Gunner) ( Service No 541182) in 103 Squadron, RAF. On the morning of 10th June 1940 3 Fairey Battle1 aircraft flew from Abingdon to attack bridges and columns at Vernon.  His aircraft was hit by flak and crashed at Gasny, killing him and his pilot, Cecil Thomas aged 19. He is buried in Plot B, 175, Gasny Communal Cemetery, France.

ARTHUR GEORGE BAKER CLAPHAM was born in the Edmonton area in 1918, the son of Arthur Benjamin Clapham and May Louise (nee Baker). He had 2 brothers, Frank and John and 3 sisters, Iris, Ivy and Marjorie. In 1935 he was a post office messenger. He married Mary Isobel White in 1940. They had a son, David, in 1942. 

He was an Ordinary Seaman (Service No P/LD/X4413) in the RNVR serving on the HM Trawler Horatio which was sunk with all hands on 7th January 1943. He is commemorated on panel 80, column 2 of the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

ALAN RICHARD DOWNER was born in 1918, the son of Frederick John Downer and Bertha (nee Hobbs). He had a brother, David and a sister, Bertha.  

He was a Pilot Officer (Service No 80820) in the RAFVR 263 Squadron.  On 20th July 1940 he took off from RAF Drem in a Hawker Hurricane 1 (P2917). He was fatally injured making a forced landing after engine failure 1½ miles SW of Tranent, East Lothian. He died of his injuries the next day in Edinburgh Infirmary. He is buried in Grave 950, New Southgate Cemetery.

ROBERT ALBERT WILLIAM HUBBARD was born in 1920 in the Edmonton area to Albert Thomas William Hubbard and Edith Lydia (nee Squires). He had a sister, Edith.

He was a Flight Sergeant (W.Op/Air Gunner) (Service No 755733) in the RAVR 206 Squadron. His Hudson, S for Sugar, took off from Donna Nook (satellite to North Coates) on the night of 25th June 1942. The crew were A/S/L Crook, P/O Watson and F/S Hubbard, they were accompanied by Squadron Commander W/C Cooke on his first operational flight with the Squadron. They were part of a 1,000 bomber raid on Bremen (their target the Deschimag U boat building yard). Their aircraft failed to return. It was later reported that on or about the 3rd July the bodies of S/L Clarke and F/S Hubbard were taken from the North Sea by the Germans. He is buried in Kiel War Cemetery, 2G6.

ROSS COLLINS LEECH was born in 1925 in Ormskirk to Donald Collins Leech and Mary Clarke. His father was a lay officer in the Methodist Church (1932). 

He was a Private (Service No 14440959) in the Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey) 1/6th Bn. He was killed on 4th August 1944 in France. He is buried in the Bayeux War Cemetery, XXVII C 13. His parents lived in Chelmsford, Essex and he is also commemorated  on the Chilcompton War Memorial.

DONALD LESLIE PITT was born in the Edmonton area in 1919 to Frederick Hubert Pitt and Eveline Maud (nee Ell). He had a sister, Phyllis. 

He was a Serjeant (Service No 898449) in the Royal Artillery, 138 Field Regiment. He was killed on 21st November 1942. He is buried in the Bone War Cemetery, Annaba, Algeria (III.B.12).

This page was added by Elaine Abson on 07/03/2013.
Comments about this page

It was great to find this page and see it list my great uncle J B Oliver. I am looking into John's life story and I can sadly tell you that Margaret and Agnes are NOT John's children. I recieved both birth certificates and they are the children of George Oliver and Gertrude Oliver (formerly Vernon). John is listed on the 1911 census with his wife Alice with 1 child but no name is given to this child. If I ever find the name of J B Oliver's children I will of course pass them on to you and also tell you John's life. I can tell you that John's father (also called John) came from Oackley in Hampshire and worked for St James´s church in Muswell Hill between 1875 and 1890 before he died in 1893.

By Derek Oliver
On 08/05/2013

Hi, this is a very interesting and poignant page to read through. I was particularly interested in Rufus Philip Ford - who was the husband of my Great Grandfather's sister, Grace Marion Lovely. I grew up hearing how devasted she was by his death in World War 1 (never really recovered from it). Grace and Rufus were married at St Bede's Church, Semaphore, Adelaide, South Australia on 22 April 1914. After his death, she went to England to visit his parents, and family lore has it that she never went back to Australia. She never remarried and died in 1963 in Ludlow, Shropshire.

By Timna Green
On 12/09/2016

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