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Saturday 28 February 2015
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In this issue, we stay with the last issue’s World War 1 theme but venture much further south to Yateley in Hampshire. One-
Yateley / Lives of WW1
The information shown in this column does not appear on Lives of the First World War but is published separately by Peter Tipton via Storify.
Captain Charrington is neither commemorated on Yateley War Memorial, nor on the Roll of Honour of Yateley's men who served in WW1. Neither he nor his parents appear in the 1911 census for Yateley. A casual observer will not therefore include Captain Charrington in Yateley's war dead. His name is not read out at the outdoor service before Yateley's War Memorial each Remembrance Day.
Nevertheless he does have a strong Yateley connection. How do we know that? If you put "Yateley" into the "additional information" search field in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's search engine, and then sort by date of death Captain Charrington is the name at the top of the list. If you then load his 'memorial in perpetuity' you can read:
In Memory of Captain Arthur Craven Charrington, 1st (Royal) Dragoons who died on 20 October 1914 Age 32. Son of Edward Nicholas and Isabella Charrington, of "The Poplars," Yateley, Hants. Remembered with Honour Ypres Town Cemetery.
Captain Charrington’s widowed mother Isabella lived in Yateley in the large house called The Poplars, just at the junction of what are now called Chandlers Lane and Vicarage Road. The small estate built on the site of the demolished house is called Crondall End. Although his mother had been living at Offham House, Lewes when her son was killed on 20 Oct 1914, she had moved to Yateley before 1919. We know this because Isabella Charrington is listed in the 1919 Electoral Registers for Yateley, eligible for both the Parliamentary and the local government election.
Mrs Charrington therefore lived in Yateley when names were being put forward forward for the War Memorial and the Roll of Honour. Why Isabella Charrington chose not to have her son commemorated on Yateley’s war memorial is a bit of a mystery. She continued to be listed in Kelly’s Directories, living at The Poplars, until after publication of the 1936 edition. She died in 1938.
Captain Charrington is listed on at least two other memorials: in Offham, Sussex, and (also a total mystery) in Dunedin, New Zealand. Perhaps Isabella Charrington did not put the name of her son forward for the Yateley Memorial because he did not live here when he was killed. Others had a completely different view. The spinster lady who donated part of her garden for the War Memorial made sure one of her nephews was inscribed on it. He lived in Essex, and his only Yateley connection might have been an occasional visit to his Aunt.
Captain Charrington was a member of the famous Charrington brewing family whose London brewery later merged to become Bass Charrington, now part of an international megalith. When the breweries were sold their hotels and pubs became Six Continents hotels. After more mergers and splits a small part became known as Vintage Inns, which still owns The White Lion, Yateley. So there is still a very tenuous link with the Charringtons
Isabella Charrington's husband is shown in the 1851 census as a brewer. In 1622 an ancestor had bought Bures Manor in Horley parish near Reigate. The brewing family used the Manor as a country retreat, much like many of the large mansions were used in Yateley
Captain Charrington’s brother Edward Somerset Charrington served as a remount officer at the large depot at Swaythling, so creating another Hampshire connection. However he lived at Bures Manor at the time the Victoria County History was published in 1911, and his family continued to live there during WW1. It is therefore possible that his mother intended her son's main memorial to be at Horley in Surrey, his ancestral family seat.
Captain Arthur Craven Charrington is recorded in Graham Fleuty’s book “Yateley Men at War” but he has yet to be commemorated in any other way in Yateley. His lifestory is also remembered in the Yateley Communty on Lives of the First World War.
Yateley historian, Peter Tipton, pictured above, wrote the following report, his third, shortly after Armistice Day 2014:
Those who haven't done the arithmetic may not have noticed that 'Lives of the First World War' had been online exactly six months on Armistice Day 2014.
So how have I performed as manager of the Yateley Community, and how has 'Lives' performed in crowd-
Lives of the First World War, the permanent digital memorial to all those in the old Empire who served in WW1, was opened online to the public on 12 May 2014. This is apparently an odd date for a launch unless you realise 12 May was exactly six months before 11 Nov 2014 -
Modern Yateley has 20,000 inhabitants but in WW1 had fewer than 2,000 residents. Over 400 men and women served in uniform of whom 68 lost their lives. Of these, just 42 had their names inscribed on the war memorial.
Lives of the First World War : Yateley
Once launched I immediately paid my subscription to be able to add all those men and women who served in WW1 and had a connection with Yateley.
In that six months crowd-
The Imperial War Museum has now added almost 7 million 'seeding documents', with about 2 million still to add.
There are eight more six month periods until Armistice Day 2018. It is therefore obvious that the rate of button pressing must escalate exponentially in the next four years to research a significant proportion of the anticipated 9 million #LifeStories.
Unfortunately the rate of 'remembering' actually seems to have dropped off in the month after Armistice Day.
MY OWN PERFORMANCE
So what have I personally achieved in the first six months?
I started with two Yateley memorials: the War Memorial on Church End Green (B3272) and the Roll of Honour in St Peter's Church recording over 200 men who served in WW1 -
So I wanted to add 200 names to the Yateley Community on 'Lives' by the 11th of the 11th. I achieved it -
There were 440 houses in Yateley according to the 1911 census. Therefore 200 men serving in the forces initially seemed reasonable. But I have described in my first and second reports how my personal database of Yateley servicemen and women has now grown to over 400, to equal the number of houses in Yateley.
At the beginning of November it looked as if I would miss my target of 200 #LifeStories connected because I had to find seeding documents at a rate of greater than two per day, my normal rate of addition.
I had already added all those for who I had a service number. I had also already searched and failed to find a seeding document for 55 men for whom I had regiments, but no service number. That left me with about 80 more men for whom the only information I had was their name and regiment, and they had apparently survived the war.
In the 10 days before Armistice day I led a charmed life. Of the last 12 men I added to the Yateley community 10 had a full set of Service Papers. This is mainly because I was working from Ancestry -
But I did reach my target of 200.
Peter was the former leader of Yateley Society's Local History Group, researching Yateley's local history for 38 years. He is now concentrating on Yateley in WW1.
Peter has constructed his own database to capture key information about each person who served and monitor progress through the various stages of capturing evidence and connecting local records etc.
The following example, for Captain Arthur Craven Charrington, is an extract from a set of 16 recording servicemen who lost their lives in 1914 and 1915. You can see the full subset via SlideShare by clicking here
As Peter explained earlier, he is remembering all servicemen connected with Yateley on the ‘Lives of the First World War’ website.
The following shows how the life story ‘timeline’ for Captain Arthur Craven Charrington is currently displayed.
Capt. Arthur Craven Charrington the first officer of the 1st Royal Dragoons to be killed in WW1.
Yateley First World War Exhibition Boards
The Yateley Society team have also been busy with their touring WW1 Exhibition -
See Captain Charrington’s life story on Lives of the First World War by clicking here
Click here to see full image copyright of Angus Kirk and reproduced here under a Creative Commons Licence