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Family Trees From The Garden of England

  • St Augustine's Church WW1 Memorial

    The World War One memorial plaque in St Augustine's Church, Ramsgate lies just above your head in front of you as you enter through the front door. After researching the names recorded on it there appear to be some curious anomolies. If anyone has an ancestor recorded on this plaque I would love to hear from you.

    The first puzzling name is C Cassidy. This seemed likely to be Charles Cassidy who was born in Holborn in 1882. He was living in Ramsgate in 1911 with his Spanish wife and two children. His son named one of his sons Michael Bernard, no doubt after his uncle who is also recorded on the plaque. However on the Cassidy family grave in the Churchyard Michael is commemorated but Charles is also recorded but having died in 1912. Therefore he can't possibly have died in WW1. It is not clear who this C Cassidy was as there is no one of this name in the CWGC database as having died in the war with the Loyal North Lancs regiment. There is also no one with this regiment of this name in medal card rolls.

    The next mystery is G Darling of the Royal Navy. There are no Darlings who served with the Navy who were killed in WW1. There were two men born in Ramsgate who were in the Navy. One was Alfred Joseph Grifford Darling born 1894 and a John James Darling born 1891, who was baptised at St Augustine's in May 1891. There was a George Darling who was confirmed in the parish in 1909 but nothing more can be found about him.

    Another curiosity is Joseph De Paiva. He never actually came to Ramsgate as he left his native Finchley for Canada in 1912. He was killed in 1915. His connection to the town seems to be through his mother who moved here at some point after 1911 and died here in 1931.

    There are also men recorded on the plaque who seem to have survived the war. James Heideman died in Tavistock in 1933 so despite the inscription on the plaque stating that it listed men who fell in the Great War this does not seem to be true.

    There is also the curious case of the Jannotti brothers. 3 brothers from the same family died in the war but only one of them is listed on the plaque.

    Mystery also surrounds H McDonald who served with the Army Service Corps. There is no trace of a man of this name with this regiment in the War Graves Commission database. There was a Reginald Allan McDonald born in Ramsgate who served with the regiment and died on the 9th of May 1918. This man's parents were John and Edith McDonald who married at St Augustine's so it could be that 'H McDonald' was their son.

    It is also unclear who R Taylor who served with the Essex Regiment was. The only R Taylor who served with this regiment in the CWGC database was from Essex and he was living in that county with his family in 1911. His parents were still there after the war. This seems unlikely to be the man on the memorial as there appears to be no connection to Ramsgate. The John Taylor listed on the memorial had a brother, Richard, born 1899. A Richard F Taylor (Richard's middle name was Fred) died in 1940 in Essex and an R Taylor with the Essex Regiment is recorded in the Medal Rolls. So it is possible this was John's brother but this has not been proven.

    The last unknown is H Woodward who served with the Buffs. There are two men who served with the Buffs and died in WW1 from Ramsgate with this surname - Herbert Howard b1890 and Henry b1882. It is unclear which man the memorial refers to.

    If there is anyone out there who can help with the above mysteries or is related to anyone on the plaque I would be delighted to hear from you.



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