Beechholme memorial plaque
Great War Memorial

If you have more information about a name or would
like to correct or remove any of the information please
mail the Webmaster.
Surnames beginning
with the letter
previous letter A next letter


Gunner 1625

Royal Field Artillery Y60th Trench Mortar Bty.

Killed In Action 21st August 1916

Age 21 Nephew of Joseph Beaver of 11, Dalling Rd,Hammersmith, London.

John Cave Abbott was born on December 2nd 1894 in Chelsea. His parents were John Cave Abbott and Christina nee Beck. When he was baptized the family were living in Paradise Walk, Chelsea. These were slum cottages according to Charles Booth the social reformer and historian of the time.

In 1901 the family are living at 27, Slaidburn St, Chelsea which was noted as one of the worst streets in London. The father is employed as a general labourer. There are four children under the age of eight.

John was admitted to Beechholme on the 17th of November 1902. At least one sibling was admitted with him at this time.
The Poor Law records for Chelsea list no next of kin for him. These records also state that John was discharged to the workhouse in November 1904.

By 1911 John aged 16 is living at 16, Dalling Rd, Hammersmith and is described as an apprentice. He is living with Joseph and Alice Beaver and he is noted as being their foster son.

From an article in the Northampton Mercury dated 8th April 1904 and titled ‘ A Fortune Squandered’ a sad story emerges:

An inquest held at Chelsea into the death of John Cave Abbott senior stated that he had been found dead in a common lodging house in Chelsea. His widow, Christina, said that she had left the deceased two years earlier on account of his brutality. He had run through thousands of pounds, and his insurance policies were mortgaged. He was not a sober man and suffered with heart disease. He had recently obtained a living by holding horses outside the White Hart, Kings Rd, Chelsea. When discovered he had only a penny and two old coins on him. The cause of death was given as heart disease.

A brother-in-law of the deceased informed the coroner that he had gone through some £5,000 and his freehold property, some of which was at Althrop, Northamptonshire was entailed and the income mortgaged. He had four children in the pauper school at Banstead and the oldest child, namely John Cave Abbott junior stood to inherit the property which comprised farms,public houses and cottages. The deceased had left a will appointing his solicitor guardian of the eldest child. An insurance of over £800 would clear off part of the mortgages. The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.

John Cave Abbott junior left £895 4s 11d to his sister Ruby in his will.

There is no entry for John in ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War’ so his place and date of enlistment is unclear. His Medal Index Card gives no clues either, other than he was entitled to the British and Victory War Medals.

No service records survive for him.

The Y 60 Trench Mortar Battery were part of the 60th Division. Orders were received on 14th June 1916 to send advance parties to Le Havre and from there to the Western Front. The crossing was completed by the 29th June. They only spent five months on the Western Front as by the end of November they were transferred to Egypt.

From an entry in the War Diary of the Trench Mortar Battery Y 60 dated 21/8/16 ‘Fired on Twins, Broadmarsh, Berken and rear of B4 Watling and Devon Craters. Enemy mortar silenced. Gnr. Abbott killed by sniper's bullet’.

John was killed about half a mile north of Ecurie whilst firing on fortified craters N.E. of Neuville-St-Vaast, a small village 4 miles north of Arras.

John's sister Ruby was the sole legatee of his will and she received £7. 14s 7d.

On his gravestone is the following inscription " Thus I commend thee to His care, who gave thee friend to me" This inscription was added by Mr. J. Beever of 11, Dalling Road.

Grave Ref.III.E.8


Research by Rachel and Jim Stapleton

SOURCES :- Commonwealth War Graves Commission, WO95/3027/8 Kew Archives, 1901, 1911 Censuses,, Northampton Mercury courtesy of ‘Find My Past’,‘The Long, Long Trail’ part of the Great War Forum

Last updated:19 Feb 2017

Beechholme WWI memorial


Private 8528

1st East Lancashire

Killed In Action 7th November 1914

Aged 30.

Son of John Thomas and Frances Applegarth (Nee Ashby) of 28, Queen’s Rd, Chelsea, London. Husband of Agnes Applegarth of 46,Lawn Rd, Hampstead, London.

Allan Wolstein Applegarth was born on the 21st May 1884 at 28, Queen’s Rd to John Thomas and Frances Applegarth. Allan’s father was a teacher of music and singing. This was a second marriage for John Thomas who was almost 30 years older than his wife.

In 1891 Allan ( un-named on the census) is living with his mother only, at 72, Queen Street, Chelsea. She is described as being a needlewoman. His father is living at a different address in Fulham with the children of his first marriage. His occupation is given as a singing teacher. Another child, Charlotte, who is Allan’s sister, is also living away from her mother. Yet another child from this marriage, Mabel, is also away from home. Both parents are described as being married. John Thomas is found listed as a Music Teacher but he states that he only has four children when he actually has six, three from his first marriage and three from the second and all are still living.

John Thomas Applegarth dies in 1898 and no further trace can be found for Frances.

Allan was admitted to Beechholme on the 2nd of August 1892. Poor Law records show that his next of kin was Mr G.F. Ashby, his grandfather, of 184 Kings Road. Allan was discharged from the school on the 1st of August 1899 to the 1st Northants regiment in India.

In 1901 Allan is aged 16 and an army boy at Kneller Hall, Whitton, near Twickenham. Kneller Hall is the Royal Military School of Music and trains musicians for army bands.

By 1911 Allan,aged 26, is serving in the 2nd East Lancashire Regiment as a Bandsman in Mhow, India. Passenger lists held by Ancestry show an A. Applegarth of the correct age working as a ship's musician  on White Star Line ships between America and England between 1912 and 1913.

To date we have not been able to trace a marriage between Allan and his wife, who is shown on the CWGC records. Agnes was an American citizen who returned to America in 1948 sailing on the Mauretania.

Allan Wolstein Applegarth of 9, Cupar Rd, Battersea left £55 2s 8d to George Joseph Conisbee a fruiterer’s assistant. He was Allan’s brother-in-law who was married to his youngest sister Mabel.

From ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War’ Allan enlisted in Poona, India.

The 1st East Lancashire Regiment proceeded to France on the 22nd August 1914 landing at Le Havre. Allan’s date of entry from his Medal Index Card is the 26th August 1914.

The First East Lancashire’s took part in the Battle of the Marne which shattered German hopes of an early victory but cost the East Lancs their Commanding Officers. On the 10th September they were the first British unit across the river Marne at Ferte-Sous-Jouarre.

After deadlock on the Aisne, which was notable for the beginning of trench warfare, the race to the sea began. The British Expeditionary Force then moved from the Aisne Front to Flanders. On the 21st October 1914 in a dashing counter attack the 1st East Lancashires captured the village of Le Gheer near Ploegsteert Wood and held that position against constant attacks until it left for Ypres in April 1915.

No service records survive for Allan Applegarth but the the war diary record of the 1st East Lancashires dated 7th November 1914 tells us that the ‘ Regiment on eastern front of Ploegsteert Wood. The Germans broke through from the Warneton Road northwards for about 600 yards. We remained standing to arms until 3pm when orders were received to counter attack.. Moved to Worcester Headquarters in the wood after consultation with Officer Commanding Worcester’s. Pushed on towards Le Gheer : D & A Coys attacked Le Gheer cross roads and Worcester main trench which was carried out with slight loss’

Grave Ref . Panel 5 & 6

Ploegsteert Memorial, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut.

Research by Rachel and Jim Stapleton

SOURCES:- Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Kew Archives WO95/1498, The Long, Long Trail, part of the Great War Forum,, ‘Find My Past’, Photo London, Lancashire Infantry Museum

Beechholme WWI memorial