Templecombe – St. Mary’s Church & War Memorial

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12 Responses to Templecombe – St. Mary’s Church & War Memorial

  1. Rob Betts says:

    Can anyone tell me if the name Walter Gill Counter appears on the war memorial at Templeton or if there is a war grave there with that name. He was killed in action aboard HMS Aboukir in Sept 1914 and there is a memorial plaque to him in our churchyard at Eastry, Kent. I have been making enquiries about him and it seems that he was in the Royal Marines and married an Eastry girl in 1913. It seems from my investigation that he was buried in Templeton as he was originally from Somerset.
    Any help would be gratefully recieved.

    • David Ross says:

      Walter Gill Counter is buried in St Mary’s church grave yard in Eastry, Kent. I believe his wife is also buried with him. I was interested in the inscription on his grave stone as it refers to his death on active service in 1914 (HMS Aboukir), which I have since found out was sunk by a German submarine in the North sea on 22/09/14, with the loss of the entire ships crew. He is not named on the village war memorial (also in the grave yard)!

  2. Rod Priddle says:

    I believe 4 of the 13 people who were killed when bombs were dropped at Templecombe on 5th September 1942 were railway men. These were Albert Ray, Pat Gawler, Hillier and Dart. Is it possible to let me know please, the first names of the last two men? I understand they are buried at the church in Templecombe. I am hoping to use the details
    in a publication. Thank you.

  3. Magicfingers says:

    Well I don’t know the answer myself, but I hope there is someone out there who does. If not, the electoral registers for the time should help you. Incidentally there is stuff like http://www.timlaw.supanet.com/bombing%20rev3%20MIN.pdf which gives quite a bit of information on the tragedy.

  4. David Ross says:

    Further to my previous message re Walter Gill Counter, I think he must be commemorated on the grave stone by his wife’s family, in view of the circumstances surrounding the fate of HMS Aboukir and her crew in 1914.

  5. Peter Forrester says:

    I’m researching all of Somerset’s WW1 dead and I have the following informaton that should help you. WALTER GILL COUNTER – CH/13098 – Private – Royal Marine Light Infantry – based on HMS Aboukir – KIA 22/9/14 aged 26 – born in Yeovil, Somerset – He was the son of Mr & Mrs COUNTER of 2 Clarence Place, Huish, Yeovil. He lived with his wife, Mrs Ellen Kate COUNTER at 5 Pollock Road, New Kent Road, London S.E. He was born on the 8th December, 1887. The Western Gazette dated the 2nd October 1914 carried the following article: “Private Walter Counter, a reservist of the R.M.L.L., a son of Mr. and Mrs. Counter of 2 Clarence Place, Huish, Yeovil, was on board H.M.S. “Aboukir” at the time the vessel was torpedoed in the North Sea, and as his name does not appear amongst the lists of those saved, much anxiety is felt by his friends. Private Counter, who had been living in London with his wife, joined the R.M.L.I. at the time he was single and living in Yeovil. He served on the Endymion at the time that ship, with others, escorted the Russian battleships to Tangiers after they had fired on British fishing vessels off the Dogger Bank. He also saw service on H.M.S.’s Canopus and Antrim, but on the outbreak of war he was called up for the “Aboukir.” His mother yesterday received a letter from the Accountant General of the Navy regretting to have to inform that Private Counter’s name “does not appear in the list of survivors in this department up to the present.”
    Wikepedia reports: “HMS Aboukir was a Cressy-class armoured cruiser. She was built by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Govan, Scotland in 1902. At around 06:00 on 22 September, three cruisers (the flagship Baccante with Admiral Christian had had to return to harbour to refuel) were steaming at 10 kn (12 mph; 19 km/h) in line ahead and they were spotted by the German submarine U-9, commanded by Lieutenant Otto Weddigen. Although they were not zigzagging, all of the ships had lookouts posted to search for periscopes and one gun on each side of each ship was manned.
    Weddigen ordered his submarine to submerge and closed the range to the unsuspecting British ships. At close range, he fired a single torpedo at Aboukir. The torpedo broke her back, and she sank within 20 minutes with the loss of 527 men.
    The captains of Cressy and Hogue thought Aboukir had struck a floating mine and came forward to assist her. They stood by and began to pick up survivors. At this point, Weddigen fired two torpedoes into Hogue, mortally wounding that ship. As Hogue sank, the captain of Cressy realised that the squadron was being attacked by a submarine, and tried to flee. However, Weddigen fired two more torpedoes into Cressy, and sank her as well.
    The entire battle had lasted less than two hours, and cost the British three warships, 62 officers and 1,397 ratings. This incident established the U-boat as a major weapon in the conduct of naval warfare.” Formerly RMR/B/1831 Royal Marines Light Infantry. Sources: Commonwealth War Graves Commission – http://www.cwgc.org; http://www.Ancestry.co.uk.

    • David Ross says:

      This information is really useful. Thank you.
      It looks like Walter Gill Counter’s name and ship were added to his wife’s family grave at St Marys Chruch, Eastry, as he had no known grave.

  6. Magicfingers says:

    Excellent stuff Peter.

  7. Peter Cockerill says:

    Thank you for a lovely site.
    I wonder if anyone can help me with getting photos of plaques of the Peck family which I understand are inside the church. I live in Northumberland so it is very difficult to get to the church. Thank you.

    • Magicfingers says:

      Most kind Peter. I hope there’s someone out there who can help. Btw, as you may have noticed, a ‘Northumberland’ category has recently appeared on this site, as I was up there only a fortnight ago. My first ever visit, actually, and a good time was had.

  8. Martine French says:

    I am looking for the whereabouts of my mothers gravestone in the chuchyard as I am coming to templecombe in 2 weeks. Her name was brenda jean gordon and she died in 1976. She was born in 1932.

  9. Magicfingers says:

    I hope there’s someone out there who can help, Martine.

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