Private, 18160, Thomas Henry KEELEY 9th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers Died, 7th July 1916
Thomas Henry Keeley was a native of Earley in Berkshire being born there in 1880 the son of Alfred and Martha Keeley. His connection to Raunds is through his friendship with farmer S Woolley of Friendly Lodge who employed him on the farm for a number of years. “Snowie”, as Thomas was popularly known, also lived at the Lodge during this period of employment.
He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France, pier and faces 10B, 11B and 12B and is also one of seven men who are named on the Town War Memorial but not on the Roll of Honour in St. Peter’s Church. He was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War and Victory medals.
Private, 7868, Cecil KNIGHT 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment Killed in Action, 21st December 1914
Cecil Knight was born in Raunds in 1889, one of at least seven children of Owen and Sarah Knight, but he is not named on the town’s war memorial. We know little of his pre-war life other than that by 1901 his family had moved to Stanwick.
Having been a pre-war Territorial or Regular soldier, he was recalled to the Colours at the outbreak of war and joined the 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment at Northampton.
He is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, France, panels 28 to 30 and was awarded the 1914 Star with Clasp, British War and Victory medals.
Private, 40742, Arthur James KNIGHTON 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Killed in Action, 3rd December 1917
Arthur James Knighton was born in Raunds in July 1897, the son of Charles William and Eliza Knighton of Bridge Street. Arthur was baptised at St. Peter’s Church on the same day, 15th August 1897, as Dick Cobley and Harry Rice. Sadly this was not the only event they were to share as all three were also doomed to perish in the same year of the Great War, 1917. Prior to enlisting Arthur was employed as a shoehand by R Coggins & Sons.
He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium, panels 70 to 72, on a family grave in Raunds Cemetery and on Ireland’s Great War Roll of Honour. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
Lance Sergeant, 202972, Gerald LANSOM 5th Battalion, Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry Killed in Action, 23rd October 1917
Gerald Lansom, youngest of the three sons of Thomas and Lizzie Lansom, was born in Raunds in 1895 but by the early 1900’s the family had moved to Burton Latimer. He was educated at Burton Latimer Church School and Kettering Pupil Teachers’ Centre spending his last year in the area at Kettering’s new County School. From there he began a course at St. John’s College, Battersea and had one year to complete when he left to enlist in the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry.
He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium, panels 96 to 98 and although not named on the Raunds War Memorial is remembered on the Burton Latimer War Memorial. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
Jesse Lawman was born in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire in 1892. The son of George and Rebecca Lawman of Park Road and younger brother of Walter Ernest (see below). He was a shoehand by trade.
He Selina Blanche Hillson on the 27th July 1913 and at the time of his death in December 1918 they lived at 14, Beech Hill with their two children, Blanche and Jesse. Sadly he was never to see his third child as Winifred was not born until April 1919.
Jesse was buried in Raunds Cemetery on the 7th December 1918 and is also named, with his brother Walter on the Stanwick War Memorial and Church Roll of Honour. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
Private, 18347, Walter Ernest LAWMAN 5th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment Killed in Action, 10th October 1916
Walter Ernest Lawman was born in Raunds in 1888, the son of George and Rebecca Lawman of Park Road. Confusingly, although most sources give his name as Walter Ernest, the parish register of baptisms records him as Ernest Walter. A shoemaker by trade, he married Alice Mabel Hackett in the spring of 1908 and at the time of his death they were living with their three children at 3, Swincroft Place. In November 1914, he was proposed and accepted to become a member of Stanwick Working Men’s Club.
He is buried in Bancourt British Cemetery, France, grave reference IX.G.5, is remembered on a family gravestone in Raunds Cemetery where his younger brother Jesse (see above), a casualty of 1918, is buried. The two brothers are also remembered on the Stanwick War Memorial and Church Roll of Honour and like his brother, Walter was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
Private, 58260, Charles William LAYTON 6th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment Killed in Action, 30th August 1918
Charles William Layton is another Raunds born victim of the Great War whose name does not appear on the town’s war memorial.
He was born in 1881, the fourth child of Jonas and Mary Anne Layton. His father was a journeyman shepherd and all five of the couples’ children were born in different villages in Northamptonshire or Huntingdonshire. By the early 1890’s the family were living in Middleton near Kettering.
Charles has no known grave so is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France, panel 7 and was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
Private, 30917, Charles Arthur MAJOR 6th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment Killed in Action, 29th April 1917
Charles Arthur Major was born in Raunds in the spring of 1896, the son of Lot and Susan Major. He is not named on the Town War Memorial, presumably as his family, who hailed from Ringstead, had returned to that village by the turn of the century.
Charles Major has no known grave but is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France, bay 7 and on the Ringstead War Memorial and Church Roll of Honour. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
Lance Corporal, 532678, Arthur MARCH 1st/15th Battalion, London Regiment (Prince of Wales Own Civil Service Rifles) Killed in Action, 30th November 1917
Arthur March was born in Raunds in 1892, the eldest son of Frederick William and Minnie March of 17, High Street. Arthur first worked as an apprentice at his father’s printing works in the town but by the outbreak of war he was living in Fulham, London and was a member of the advertising staff on the “Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham Observer.”
He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France, panel 12 and also on a family memorial in Raunds Cemetery. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
Purser, 142365, Norman Howard MASON SS Yaraslavl, Merchant Navy Died, 20th September 1918
Norman Howard Mason was the youngest son of Joseph George and Rhoda Mason of Marshall’s Road. He was born in Wellingborough in 1895 and remained a well known character in that town up to the time of his death.
As of today, we have not established where Norman is buried but we believe it to be in South Africa as he died of pneumonia at Cape Town.
2nd Lieutenant, Albert Charles MASTERS No 61 Training Squadron, Royal Air Force Killed in a Flying Accident, 1st May 1918
Albert Charles Masters was born in Wilstead, Bedfordshire in 1898, the only son of Charles and Florence Masters of 6, Brook Street. He was a member of the Wesleyan Chapel Young Men’s Class prior to enlisting in the Royal Flying Corps in 1917.
Awarded the British War and Victory medals, he was buried in the graveyard of the Raunds Wesleyan Chapel on Sunday, 5th May 1918, his grave being marked by a marble cross in the form of an aeroplane. The funeral cortege was headed by a party of Rushden Volunteers and the Raunds Temperance Band. The band played ‘Abide with me’ and, after the committal, the Volunteers fired three volleys followed by the ‘Last Post’ played by two buglers.
Private, G/86218, Charles MILLS 6th Battalion, Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment) Died at Sea 30th December 1917
Charles Mills was born in Easton, Huntingdonshire in 1883, the son of George and Elizabeth Mills. An old scholar of the Baptist Chapel Sunday School, he was employed as a shoe laster prior to enlisting at Northampton.
He is named on the Chatby Memorial in Egypt and is also commemorated on the Baptist Chapel Roll of Honour of Old Scholars and in 1950, relatives contributed towards the purchase of trees and shrubs for the new Memorial Gardens in his memory. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
Private, 40869, Leonard Walter MINKLEY 1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment Died of Wounds, 4th October 1917
Leonard Walter Minkley was the eldest son of Walter Robert and Betsy Maria Minkley of Nene Cottages, Marshall’s Road. He was born in Kettering in 1897 and prior to the start of the war worked for R Coggins & Sons, boot makers.
He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium, panels 90 to 92 and 162 to 162A and also on the Kettering War Memorial. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
Private, 9298, William MOULES 1st/5th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry Killed in Action, 11th November 1916
William Moules was born in Raunds on the 2nd March 1892, the son of James Henry and Ada Moules of High Street. A member of the Church Vestry Class, he was a shoeworker by trade prior to enlisting in the Northamptonshire Regiment at Higham Ferrers in March 1912 as Private, 1717.
He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France, pier/face 14A and 15C, and also on a family gravestone in Raunds Cemetery. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
Lance Corporal, 22246, Frederick NORRIS 7th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment Killed in Action, 22nd March 1918
We believe that Frederick Norris was born in Irchester in 1888 but by the time of the Great War his parents, George and Lillie Norris, had moved to 48, Marshall’s Road. Fred emigrated to Australia during the early 1900’s but returned home to enlist at the outbreak of hostilities.
Awarded the British War and Victory medals and having no known grave, he is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, France, panels 54 to 56.
Private, 203112, Horace NUNLEY 6th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment Killed in Action, 14th July 1917
Horace Nunley was the son of Owen and Emma Nunley of Wellington Road, one of four brothers who served in the army during the Great War, brother Leslie Beman Nunley (see below) being another casualty of the conflict. Horace was born in Raunds in 1890 and as a teenager was a member of the Church Vestry Class.
He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium, panels 43 and 45. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
Private, 200689, Leslie Beman NUNLEY 1st/4th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment Killed in Action, 19th April 1917
The son of Owen and Emma Florence Nunley of 19, Wellington Road, Leslie Beman Nunley was born in Raunds in 1898.
According to family legend, young Leslie had had to be retrieved from the recruiting station by his mother when trying to enlist underage. He had no doubt been keen to emulate his 3 older brothers, Bertie, Harry and Horace, all of whom were already serving their country. Sadly, Horace (see above) was to perish just 3 months after his youngest brother.
Leslie is buried in Gaza War Cemetery, Israel, grave reference XV.F.14 and was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
A member of the Church Vestry Class for several of the pre-war years, his death certificate gives his profession as grocer’s assistant. He had, however, previously served “militarily” in France before being discharged, probably on medical grounds.
Stanley Frederick Nunley was buried in St. Peter’s Churchyard on the 9th December 1916, the parish register also records: “8 foot grave, late EFC served in France.” His grave is unmarked but he is remembered on a family headstone in Raunds Cemetery.