Alan Edward Lloyd was born in around 1899, the second of five children – all boys – to William and Edith Lloyd. Both of his parents were Welsh, and his older brother was born in Cardiff. Railway clerk William moved around the country with work, however, and Alan was born in Lydney, Gloucestershire, his younger brother in Paddington, London, and his two youngest siblings were born in Windsor, Berkshire.
There is little information about Alan’s early life; what is clear is that, by the autumn of 1918, he had been in the army, reaching the rank of Lieutenant. He transferred across to the newly formed Royal Air Force and, in December that year was training as a Flight Cadet at Shotwick Airfield near Chester.
On the 4th December, Alan was flying his Sopwith Camel, when he got into a flat spin; the aircraft crashed and Alan was killed. He was just 19 years old.
Alan Edward Lloyd was brought to Devon – where his family were now living – for burial. He was laid to rest in the graveyard of All Saints Church in Highweek, near Newton Abbot.
George Henry Woodland was born on 9th June 1899, and was one of six children – three boys and three girls – to Mark and Ada Woodland. Mark was a hewer in a coalmine in Radstock, Somerset, and this is where the family were raised.
George – who was better known as Harry – was still at school when war broke out. He had been taught at the Church of England School in his home town, before winning a scholarship to Shepton Mallet Grammar School. Having passed his exams there, he was taken on as a member of staff at his former school, before joining the army in June 1917 when he turned eighteen.
Initially joining the Infantry Training Reserve, Harry was subsequently transferred to the Royal Air Force. After training in Yorkshire for five months, he was transferred to the 52nd Training Depot Station at Cramlington Airfield in Northumberland.
Second Lieutenant Woodland returned home on leave in October 1918. This was the first time that he and his two brothers had been together since war had been declared – one had been serving in France, the other had been injured and was recuperating at a hospital in Bristol. Harry returned to Northumberland on 14th October.
On 5th November 1918, Harry was flying at the Cramlington base; shortly after take off, while carrying out a flat turn at a height of about 100ft, his aircraft stalled and nosedived, catching fire on impact. Tragically, Second Lieutenant Woodland and his passenger – Air Mechanic Ryder – were burnt to death. Harry was just 19 years of age.
George Henry “Harry” Woodland was brought back to Somerset for burial. He was laid to rest in the family plot in the graveyard of St Nicholas’ Church in his home town of Radstock.
John Eric Jackson-Barstow was born on 10th August 1895, and was one of seven children – and the only boy – to John and Mary Jackson-Barstow. John Sr was a Justice of the Peace from Yorkshire, who had moved his family to Somerset in the early 1890s; this is where John Jr and his sisters were born.
When war broke out, John Jr enlisted as a Trooper in the North Somerset Yeomanry and, by the autumn of 1914, he was moved to France.
On the outskirts of Ypres, his regiment were involved in a prolonged attack by German forces and Trooper Jackson-Barstow was injured. Medically evacuated to England, he received a commission and was given the role of aide-de-camp to a general based on the East Coast.
In 1917, Captain Jackson-Barstow transferred to the Royal Flying Corps – later moving to the newly-formed Royal Air Force. Over the following months, he regularly flew sorties across France and did extensive piloting in English skies.
Captain Jackson-Barstow continued in his role when the Armistice was signed. On 27th January 1919, he was flying in Surrey; it was snowing heavily, which limited what he could see. Flying low, he crashed into a hill near Oxted, and was killed instantly. He was just 23 years of age.
John Eric Jackson-Barstow’s body was brought back to Somerset; he was laid to rest in the family grave in the Milton Road Cemetery in Weston-super-Mare.
Fergusson Barclay was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, towards the end of 1877 and was the oldest of six children. His father, Henry, was a retired army captain, and so it is of little surprise that Fergusson and his siblings had something of a privileged upbringing.
The 1881 census recorded Henry and his wife, Agnes, bringing up the family in Tenby, South Wales. With three children under four, the Barclays employed two live-in nursemaids to support them.
Ten years later, the family had moved to Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, living in a large house to the north of the town centre. With fie children now living at home, Henry and Agnes found additional help was needed: they were now employing a governess, manservant, cook and a housemaid. The family were not alone in this support: the 1891 census shows that all of the Barclays’ neighbours had at least one domestic servant.
The new century turned, and a new census followed. Captain Barclay and his family were still living in their three-storey Victorian villa in Weston-super-Mare. By this point, however, only three of the children were still living at home. Fergusson, now 23, was working as an architect, hit brother Herbert was a legal professional, and his sister, Hermione, also still lived there. The house was not empty, however, as the Barclays’ retinue of staff remained. By this point, they were employing a gardener, groom, coachman, parlour maid, cook, kitchen maid and house maid. Agnes, who was around 20 years younger than her husband, also had a live-in companion, spinster Helen Empson.
Little had changed for the family when the next census was recorded in 1911. Henry was by now 84 years old, and he and Agnes had been married 34 years. Fergusson and Herbert were still living at home, fully immersed in their jobs. Helen was still providing companionship for Agnes, and the family still employed four members of staff: butler Daniel O’Brien and his wife, Jesse, who was the cook; parlour maid Rosie Davies and house maid Edith Booden.
In March 1912, Henry passed away, and it was inevitable that things would change for the Barclay household. Fergusson had been a volunteer for the Royal Engineers since the late 1890s and had steadily worked his way up through the ranks. With the outbreak of war, he found himself called into a more formal role.
Full details of his military career are not evident, but it is clear that, by the spring of 1918, Fergusson had gained the rank of Captain. He joined the Royal Air Force and was assigned to 75th Squadron.
On the afternoon of 7th December 1918, Captain Barclay took off from Elmswell Aerodrome in Suffolk, when the engine of his Avro 504K aircraft cut out. He attempted to turn the plane to land, but it nosedived into the ground and Fergusson was seriously wounded. He was taken to hospital, and died of his injuries later that day. He was 40 years old.
Captain Fergusson Barclay’s body was taken back to Somerset – he lies at rest in the Milton Road Cemetery in Weston-super-Mare, walking distance from his family home.
Herbert William Hare Marshall was born in Ambala, India, on 19th August 1890. His father – Herbert Seymour Marshall – was a Colonel in the army, and was serving in India with his wife, Charlotte, when their children – Charlotte (known as Jessie) and Herbert Jr – were born.
The family were back in England by 1898, and had set up home in the Somerset seaside town of Weston-super-Mare. When Herbert Sr passed away that year, Charlotte was set up on a widow’s pension, and this allowed her to send her son to St Peter’s, a private boarding school in the town.
When her son’s schooling was complete, Charlotte took the family off to Canada. They settled in British Colombia, in Revelstoke, a mountain town halfway between Calgary and Vancouver. Here, Herbert found work as a bank clerk, but war came to Europe, and he felt a need to do his bit for King and Country.
Herbert enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in November 1914; his service papers record him as being 5ft 8ins (1.73m) tall, 148lbs (67kg) in weight. He had black eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion – something that he may well have inherited through his mother’s genes.
Shipped to England, by August 1915, Private Marshall had been discharged from the CEF as part of a transfer to the New Army – also known as Kitchener’s Army, the volunteer British Army raised as a direct result of the outbreak of war.
Detailed information about Herbert’s military service is lacking, although it seems that he joined the 17th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment, one of the regiments heavily involved during the Battle of the Somme.
By October 1916, however, the now Lieutenant Marshall had made another mover, this time joining the Royal Flying Corps. On the afternoon of 26th August 1917, he was an observer on a flight at Marham, in Norfolk. The pilot, a Lieutenant Challington, was banking the aircraft, when it dived and crashed, killing both men. Lieutenant Marshall had turned 27 years old the week before.
Herbert William Hare Marshall’s body was brought back to his adopted home of Weston-super-Mare. He lies at rest alongside his father in the town’s Milton Road Cemetery.
John Scrace was born on 31st July 1892 in Chatham, Kent, the oldest of five children to John and Adelaide Scrace. John Sr was a relieving officer for the Medway Board of Guardians, a role which involved “taking charge of poor or insane persons not otherwise cared for” [census1891.com]. Adelaide worked in a similar role, as an infant protection visitor.
It is fair to say, therefore, that John Jr had a very supportive childhood. He attended King’s School in Rochester, where he obtained a scholarship to Peterhouse College, Cambridge.
When war broke out, John was keen to do his part. Initially joining The Buffs (the East Kent Regiment), he transferred across to the newly-formed Royal Air Force in June 1918. By this point he had risen to the rank of Lieutenant, and, as part of his new RAF role, was based at Driffield in Yorkshire.
On 24th August 1918, the aircraft John was flying at the base, spun into the ground, and John was killed instantly. A subsequent inquest identified that “the cause of the accident was due to the fact that, for reasons unknown, part of the top of the left-hand plane of the machine crumpled up in the air and thereby [caused] the pilot to lose control of his machine.” [rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk] Lieutenant Scrace was just 26 years of age.
John Scrace was buried in Christ Church Churchyard in Luton, Bedfordshire; he is commemorated in Woodlands Cemetery in his home town of Gillingham, Kent.