Preserving your Past for the Future


 A to H


These records have been compiled with a great deal of help from families, friends, and public records. We have tried to be as accurate as possible before making them public, but if there are errors or omissions we sincerely apologise, and would be very grateful for any further information, and also to confirm the identities of those whose contribution hasn’t yet been acknowledged.


All the servicemen are recorded on the full marble Roll of Honour. Those who lost their lives and are also on the war memorial are highlighted in red.




G Adams – Corporal George Ernest Adams. A stonemason. Born in 1882, in Aveton Gifford. He enlisted in 1914 in the Devon Regt, then transferred to the Rifle Brigade. He caught malaria while serving in Macedonia, and was discharged in 1919. He returned to the village working as a mason for the Lakemans until he retired. His parents were Thomas snr and Sarah Adams. George was uncle to Thomas Edward (below), great uncle to Reg Edgecombe (Alan’s father), and brother-in-law of John Hingston Wyatt (Servicemen S to Y). He died here in 1963, and is buried at St Andrew’s.

T E Adams – Corporal Thomas Edward Adams, Royal Marines Light Infantry. He was born in Aveton Gifford in 1896, and was George’s (above) nephew and Reg Edgecombe’s 2nd cousin. His records on enlistment in 1912 show that he had been working as a currier, and interestingly that he had had to pass a test to show that he could swim. For the first part of the war he served mainly on HMS Dartmouth, a 2nd Class light cruiser employed in curbing gun-running activities; from the Kingsbridge Gazette, 28 July 1916; “the eldest son of Mr T Adams jnr has been awarded his silver medal for operations in connection with rebels in the Persian Gulf in 1914 on board HMS Dartmouth, and has received the same from the Admiralty. He was shipmate of S Lakeman, engineer artificer, son of Mr S Lakeman”.  In July 1916 he then served on HMS Resolution, a battleship attached to the 1st Battle Squadron, but was engaged in no further combat. After the war he signed up for a second period of service, and was finally discharged in 1933. Later on that year he enlisted in the Royal Marines Police. He married Christophine Elliott in 1932, and they lived in Commercial Cottages, but finally moved away from the village.

E Andrews -   Evelyn Andrews. Born in 1886 in Ivybridge, the son of George and Charlotte. He was a carpenter working in Ivybridge before the war, but by 1915 had moved to the village. He married Irene Catherine Moore in 1916, and from 1917 on they lived at Rock Cottage. He enlisted in November 1915, and as a Sapper using his skills as a carpenter, he served in the Royal Engineers 2/2 Devonshire Btn joining the Expeditionary Force in France, then 568 Devonshire Army Troops; he was discharged in 1919. He continued to live in the village at Rock Cottage until his death in 1944, and is buried at St Andrew’s. (Documents in the National Archive show that he enrolled as a Comrade of the Great War - a non-political association to represent the rights of ex-service men and women who had served or had been discharged from service; he would have been one of the earliest members of the British Legion when the Comrade’s association became a founder part of the Legion which was formed in 1921.)




F Beer – Frederick, known as Fred, and born in 1883 in Aveton Gifford, the son of George and Emma. He joined the Royal Engineers in April 1916 aged 33 as a skilled carpenter, and in October Sapper Beer was posted overseas with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. He caught malaria, and was posted home in August 1919 to be discharged in September, but in civilian life afterwards remained severely incapacitated by shell shock. After the war his wife Mabel ran a small bakery and grocers shop opposite the old post office. He died in the village in 1943, and is buried at St Andrew’s.

W E Brown -  William Edward Brown was a Master at Arms in the Royal Navy. He was born in 1872 in Malborough, the son of William, a sawyer from Aveton Gifford, and Sarah. He married Rebecca Steere (born AG) in 1899; at the time of his marriage he was a naval policeman. Just after this he enlisted, and was based in Plymouth as a ships corporal. They lived after the war in no 1 Wesley Terrace, and his wife took the Sunday School in the Wesleyan chapel. Even after leaving the navy he was known in the village as Quartermaster Sergeant Brown. He died in 1954, and is buried at St Andrew’s.

P Browse -  Percy John Walter Browse, tailor and draper, AG. He was born in Newton Abbot in 1886, but his parents had recently moved to the village – his father William was a woollen dealer and draper, and mother Lilla. Percy joined the Devonshire Regt, was wounded, and discharged in 1916. He never married but lived in Corner House with his sister and brother-in-law Eli Clarke (below). Percy died in 1957, and is buried at St Andrew’s.

C Burgoyne – Charles William, known as Charlie, parents George and Lavinia Burgoyne, born in 1891 in Aveton Gifford. He enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1909 serving as a stoker. Then, on the outbreak of war, he spent the first six months on a coastal destroyer based at Immingham as part of the Humber Patrol, but saw no action there. He was then transferred to a smaller vessel known as a “monitor” designed for shore bombardment; in 1915 monitor M18 was based in the Mediterranean and Aegean, particularly around Salonika, Stavros and Mudros, and in 1918 moved on to Constantinople and the Black Sea. Charlie returned to Devonport in January 1919, and remained in the Navy until the 30’s, attaining the rank of Petty Officer. He was recalled for WW2 in 1938, serving at Dartmouth Naval College.  His older brother Jack was killed in 1916, and the influenza epidemic at the end of the war was responsible for the deaths of his father, sister and fiancée.

(The ‘flu epidemic of 1918-19 in the UK was part of the worldwide outbreak of “Spanish flu” which killed between 40-50 million people.) 


 F J Burgoyne – Frederick James Burgoyne, known as Jim, born 1881 in Bigbury. The son of John and Caroline, he was a first cousin to Charlie and Jack Burgoyne. The family moved to Stoverlake around the turn of the century. Jim had joined the Royal Navy before 1901; in this and the 1911 census he is registered as an Able Seaman based in Devonport. He served throughout the war coming through it to marry Edith Hart in 1932. He died in Kingsbridge in 1950, and is buried with Edith in St Andrew’s.

 J Burgoyne - Sergeant John Henry (known as Jack) Burgoyne, the son of George and Lavinia Burgoyne from Aveton Gifford, born in 1887.  He enlisted some years before the war into the 2nd battalion, Devonshire Regiment – the 1911 census shows he was stationed in Malta, and by 1913 he was in Egypt. The battalion was stationed at Cairo at the outbreak of war and initially was sent to guard the Suez Canal, but after unexpected losses at Ypres it was posted to France in November 1914 and was one of those to take part in the Christmas Truce of that year. The 2nd Devons were involved in the battles of Neuve Chapelle, Bois Grenier and Aubers Ridge in 1915, then moving up to the Somme.  Jack was killed in action on 1st July 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, and is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial. He was 29.  His younger brother Charlie and cousin Fred Burgoyne survived the war to return home.




E Clarke – Eli Clarke. Born in W Alvington in 1891, he was a rabbit trapper and dealer who moved to the village before the war. He joined both the Devons and then the Royal Garrison Artillery, but on both occasions was discharged after only months suffering from acute rheumatism. In 1916 he married Violet Browse, Percy’s sister. He died in 1955, and is buried at St Andrew’s.

F Copp – Frank Copp. He was born in Bridgewater in 1898. The family had moved to the village from east Devon, and both sons served in the war. A report from the Kingsbridge Gazette -19 April 1918;  “Private no. 1677  (Frank Copp) of 2nd Batn. Devonshires was wounded in left hip. This is the second time he was wounded.” The 2nd battalion was part of the regular army, so Frank would have joined up before the war. Further records for Frank have not come to light, but it seems that he survived the war although his brother William was killed in 1915.

W Copp - Private William Copp was born in Uffculme in 1889, the elder son of William and Eliza Copp. William snr was a butcher and had moved his family to Aveton Gifford before the outbreak of war, and William too had worked as a butcher before he joined up.  In the first group of AG volunteers on the outbreak of war William enlisted in the 8th battalion of the Devonshires, one of the first of Kitchener’s New Army, in August 1914. He was killed in action on September 25th 1915 at the Battle of Loos, which was notably the first battle where the British employed the use of poison gas. (After setting off the gas canisters the wind changed direction, and blew the gas across the Allied lines instead.) He is commemorated on the Loos memorial.



R M V Denton – Ronald Montague Vivian Denton, was the elder son of Frederick Denton, headmaster of the primary school here from 1902 – 24. He was born in Northampton in 1898, then his father took over the school at West Alvington; they moved here when Ronald was 4, and after going to school here he went on to Kingsbridge Grammar School. He proved to be an outstanding pupil, gaining 1st Class honours in his exams and the first prize for his form in 1914. Ronald was a career soldier entering the Royal Artillery as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1917, and spent the war firstly in Egypt then France.  He served through WW2 and was awarded the CBE, and finally retired as a Brigadier, dying in 1960 in N Yorkshire.

J Dobell – John Laskey Dobell, known as Laskey, was an electrical engineer, born in Modbury in 1862, the son of William and Elizabeth. He is thought to have served in the Army in WW1 although no records have been traced for him. He lost his eldest son John in 1919. His brother-in-law Herbert Willett lived with the family and was a member of the AG Voluntary Training Corps. His younger son Gilmore was also a volunteer, but was too young to be called up.  The family lived in South Efford House, and after the war he ran Aune Valley Hand Loom Weavers there with Gilmore. He died in 1946 and is buried in Modbury.

J W Dobell - John Willet Dobell, was born in London in 1897, but his father came from a Modbury family. Lieutenant Dobell joined the Royal Navy in 1914 as a midshipman. His family lived at South Efford House, and John went to Kingsbridge Grammar School, becoming one of their first pupils to be published in their Roll of Honour of old boys who had joined up. He served on HMS Commonwealth, HMS Victory, HMS Ruby and latterly HMS President, and in January 1919 still as a serving officer had gone to Cambridge University for further qualifications. He died on 1st March aged 22, at a Cambridge hospital from cerebro-spinal meningitis, and is buried at St George’s in Modbury.    His father also served, but returned at the end of the war, and younger brother Gilmore was a volunteer but didn’t get called up.




A Edgcombe – Arthur Edgcombe, (born 1893 in Aveton Gifford), joined the Royal Navy in 1913. His ship the HMS Warrior sank at the Battle of Jutland, but although wounded he survived. (His brother Dick in HMS Defence died in the same battle) After Jutland he joined the battleship HMS Resolution, but was not involved in further combat for the rest of the war. He married Florence May Putt early in 1919 but, suffering from post traumatic stress from his experiences during the war, he committed suicide several months later on his Christmas leave. He is buried at St Andrew’s.

The Edgcombes were an Aveton Gifford family; Thomas and Irina had 12 children, 8 of them boys, and also brought up a grandson. From this parish Arthur, Fred, Richard and Robert served in the war, as did grandson Henry, and also their sons-in-law John Taylor, and also Alfred Guest who came from Loddiswell. At least two of their other sons were in the services – Charlie in the Navy and George in the Coldstream Guards, but both had already moved away from the parish.

F Edgecombe – Fred Edgcombe, (should not have had the middle “e”) born 1885 in Aveton Gifford, and the brother of Arthur Dick and Robert. Before joining up he worked as a mason’s labourer. His service records show that he enlisted in December 1915 at the age of 30, and was posted as a gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery to serve first in Berehaven, a naval base in SW Ireland, then back to England, and finally in 1917 he was sent to Salonika. After demobilisation in 1919 he returned to Aveton Gifford becoming a builder. He married Alice Adams in 1920; they lived at Waterhead and had five children, Fred, George, Gladys, Alma and Mabel. He died in 1969, and is buried at St Andrew’s.

H Edgcombe  - Henry Stephen Edgcombe, born 1897 in Aveton Gifford. (Nephew of Dick, Arthur, Fred and Robert Edgcombe). He enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1909, and remained in the service as a stoker until June 1927. He served most of the war on HMS Lion, then short spells on Wallington, Arbutus and Donegal. On Lion, the Grand Fleet’s battlecruiser flagship, he would have seen action in several sea battles including Jutland.

R Edgcombe -Leading Stoker Richard Edgcombe, known as Dick, was born in Aveton Gifford in 1890. He was working as a groom as a young man before enlisting in the Royal Navy in 1909. He served on various ships, but by the outbreak of war was on HMS Defence, an armoured cruiser. On 31st May 1916 the British Grand Fleet engaged the German Fleet in the largest naval battle of WW1 at Jutland. Defence was struck by two German salvos which detonated her rear magazine, and the resulting fire detonated the rest. There were no survivors. He died aged 26, leaving a widow, Fanny, but no children, and he is commemorated with his comrades on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.  

R Edgcombe – Robert, born 1880 in Aveton Gifford, was one of the older Edgcombe brothers. He enlisted as a stoker in the Royal Navy in 1908. Throughout the war he was serving on HMS Thunderer, an Orion Class battleship which had entered naval service in 1912 complete with state-of-the-art Marconi system wireless equipment and state-of the-art firing systems which had made her the top-shooting vessel in trials of 1912. She was present at Jutland, but took very little part in the action, and sustained no damage at all. For the rest of the war Robert stayed with her on routine Fleet manoeuvres, and appears to have had a quiet war in comparison to his brothers. He left the Navy in 1925.

(NB - the following are all Edgecombes with a middle 'e', and no relation to the family of Edgcombes above without the 'e'.)

R G Edgecombe - Reginald George (Alan’s father) born in 1899 to George and Mary. Thought to have enlisted under age into the Devonshire Regt, later transferring to the Ox/Bucks Light Infantry. From the Kingsbridge Gazette - “Private R Edgecombe 1st Devonshires, only son of Mr G Edgecombe builder and contractor Aveton Gifford, was mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s despatches for devotion to duty on October 4th and 5th 1917, and was recommended for the Military Medal.” Wounded at least 3 times. Reg was demobilised and returned to work as a mason with his father George, but was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1928. He is buried at St Andrew’s. (Reg’s gt uncle George Adams and 2nd cousin Thomas Adams also served.)

S R Edgecombe – Stephen Richard Edgecombe, the only son of Stephen and Emma (nee Rundle), was born in Aveton Gifford in 1882. In 1901 Stephen Richard Edgecombe can be found in the census records of the Royal Navy at Sea, and in Ports Abroad; he was an ordinary seaman on the vessels “Ramillees” and tender HMS Boxer, Torpedo Boat Destroyer, based in the Grand Harbour, Valetta, in Malta. In 1908 the next records show his marriage to Bessie Amelia Ward from North Huish, and in 1911 he was a stoker in the RN, this time based in Portsmouth. He is found on a list of Naval medals, receiving his in 1912. No further records have been found for Stephen;  his parents eventually moved to Kellaton, but both are buried at St Andrew’s. His son Russell lived in Aveton Gifford for many years, and is also buried in the churchyard here.

W Edgecombe William John, (Bill) – the eldest son of Robert and Rosina Blanche (nee Tall), he was born in Aveton Gifford in 1895. The family lived in Corner House, and by 1911 Bill was working as an apprentice wheelwright. No military records have been found for him, but he was in the Royal Engineers. A newspaper article about his sister’s wedding in December 1915 reports; “Sapper Edgecombe, has been recommended for the V.C. for a grand act of pluck at the Dardanelles.   He is now in hospital", and family photos of his own marriage in 1918 to Charlotte Freeman show him in uniform. After demobilisation he returned to Aveton Gifford, working at Milburn Orchard for Col. Drew, later moving to the gardener’s cottage there. Lottie died in 1921 and he married a widow Caroline Breyley, nee Jackman in 1926. He died in December 1939, followed by Caroline 20 days later.      From the Woodleigh Deanery magazine:        “ BURIALS.  December 7th- William John Edgecombe, aged 44 years.  After a long and painful illness, patiently borne, his passing was a happy release.   His widow is in Plymouth undergoing treatment, and we feel especially sorry for her as she had faithfully nursed him almost up to the last, when the doctor sent her to hospital".

A Elliott - unidentified

F Elliott – Thought to be Laurence Elliott’s (see below) younger brother Frederick, born in 1897.  Records show that Frederick Elliott enlisted in the Royal Navy in Dec 1914 for 12 years, serving during most of the war on HMS Berberis, a mine-sweeping sloop, followed by a spell at Devonport. He reached the rank of Stoker Petty Officer by the time he left the navy in 1928.

L Elliott - Stoker 1st Class Laurence Elliott of the Royal Navy. Laurence’s parents were William James and Eliza Elliott, and he was born here in 1893. He was working on the farm at Lower Stadbury before he left to join the Navy in 1913, signing up initially for 13 years. He served as a stoker on HMS Bellerophon with the 4th Battle Squadron. Bellerophon took part in the Battle of Jutland at the end of May 1916 and although involved in the action was undamaged. By August 1916 it was discovered that Laurence was suffering from TB, and he was invalided out of the Service to return to his parents. He died on the 6th April, 1919 aged 26, and is buried in St Andrew’s churchyard. This inscription can be found on his gravestone:                      “He suffered long and murmured not, We watched him day by day Grow less and less before our eyes Until he passed away.”  He is buried beside his father who had died just a month before. His brothers Fred and John are both thought to have served in the war; both survived to return home.

J Elliott – not positively identified, but this is thought to have been Ervin John Elliott, known as John – born in 1891, the son of William and Eliza, who married Edith Florence May (Edie) Moore in 1920. He certainly served in WW1, and is remembered to have suffered badly from shell-shock. The couple lived with her parents – father James Moore farmed at Knap Mill. Both John and Edie are buried at St Andrew’s. If he is the other J Elliott on our plaque, his younger brothers were Lawrence and Frederick (above).

J Elliott – James Elliott, (Jim), son of William and Susan, born in Thurlestone in 1871. He joined the army aged 19 in 1891, serving with the Devonshire Regiment in Egypt, India and South Africa. He was wounded in the arm during the Boer War, but left the army in 1912 after 21 years service, with several campaign medals. He re-enlisted again in 1914 aged 43, and served throughout the war, again in the Devonshire Regt., attaining the rank of Sergeant by the time he was demobilised in 1919. A report of Peace Day celebrations in the village in August 1919 from the Kingsbridge Gazette mentioned him - “Sergeant J Elliott” responded in speeches on behalf of those who had served in the Army. After the war he returned to the village, living in 2 Beaumont Cottages, Fore Street, where he died in 1944, and is buried in St Andrew’s. For much of his later life he was disabled, spending his last years unable to get about except with two sticks or in a wheelchair. In 1906 he had married Eliza Ellen Willcocks, sister of Harry (Joy and Rod’s grandfather) and their great uncles George, Samuel and John Willcocks (all listed below). Jim was also the uncle of Reuben Elliott.

R Elliott – Reuben Elliott was born in 1897, the son of William and Amelia Elliott; the family lived in Rose Cottage at Bridge End. He served in the Devonshire Regt, Somerset Lt Infantry and then the Gloucesters when he was wounded and taken Prisoner of War; he later received a letter from the King when he was repatriated. He was discharged from the army in March 1919, and went back to work on local farms, including Torrings at Ashford. He married twice; first to Lily Putt, and after her death in 1935, he married Florence Ryder. His father William was Jim (above) Elliott’s older brother. Reuben’s name is also included on the Churchstow Roll of Honour.

W Elliott – unidentified

J Elson - Gunner James Thomas Elson, the son of Joseph and Sarah Elson (nee Hingston), was born in 1875 in the village. He married Mary Jane Prowse in 1899; by the outbreak of the war they had 3 children, and he was working as a general labourer in Plymouth. He joined the 70th Company of the Royal Garrison Artillery in July 1916, and spent most of his war in India defending the port of Karachi. On October 30th 1918 he embarked for Italy, but died in hospital soon after landing there from influenza and pneumonia on 7th December 1918, aged 43. He is buried at the Taranto Town cemetery in Puglia, Italy. (His sister Robenia had married Stephen Edgcombe, another of the 8 Edgcombe brothers above.)

(The Royal Garrison Artillery was equipped with much larger weaponry than the Royal Field Artillery; heavy large calibre guns and howitzers could be sited some way behind the front lines, and had huge destructive capabilities, but some were so large that they could only be transported by tractors or railway tracks rather than by horses. James Elson, Fred Edgcombe, Henry Hurrell, Reg Weekes and George Willcocks all served in the RGA.)



H Federick –  Harry Fedrick (without the e). He was the son of Nicholas Bowden Fedrick, a coachman, and Kate (nee Hannaford), and the 9th of at least 10 children. He was born in Kingsbridge in 1894, but two years later his father Nicholas died, followed by his mother at the beginning of 1899. It is not known what happened to all the children, but Kate Hannaford was an Aveton Gifford girl, and so Harry’s connection with the parish is through her. He joined the Royal Navy in December ’14 for the “period of hostilities”, and served on 5 vessels, mainly in home waters, but spending a year up in Scapa Flow. In 1919 he appears to have suffered a breakdown, was admitted to Yarmouth Hospital, and invalided out of the Navy. He was discharged from the hospital in November 1920 into the care of his aunt. His aunt was Mary Hannaford, who was a teacher at the school here; his eldest sister Blanche had lived with her since their parents died. It is likely that this was the aunt referred to, as other aunts in the family had died. She left the village not long after this, and he also moved away; in 1922 he married Norah Crookes in Plymouth.

J T Fitness - John Thomas, aka Jack Fitness was born in 1889, and served in the 5th battalion, Rifle Brigade which he had joined in 1907. He took part in the retreat at Mons in the autumn of 1914, was wounded in the head by a lyddite shell, and was consequently invalided out in 1916. In 1915 he had married Alice Luscombe, the older sister of Samuel Luscombe (below) who lost his life in September of the same year. In 1918 the Gazette reported that he and Eli Clarke were both prosecuted for fighting with German POWs in Kingsbridge. After the war he worked at Torrings then Borough Farms, but suffered from shell shock and the effects of his head injury from which he never recovered, and committed suicide in 1951. He is buried at St Andrew’s.

R H Frith – Robert, Bob. He was born in Ivybridge in 1887, and joined the Royal Navy as a stoker in 1906 but seems to have been invalided out in 1911 after fracturing both his legs badly in an accident. He moved to the village, lodging with the Burgoynes, but joined one of the services again during the war. It is thought that his first marriage in 1916 lasted only months before his wife died. He later married Winifred Lugger, was both a verger and sexton at St Andrew's, and also served on the AG parish council. He died in 1953 and is buried at St Andrew’s.




E S Hallett –Eric Stone Hallett was born in Aveton Gifford in 1904, the younger brother of John, Fred and William (all below). He was taken on as a cadet aged 15 in the Wiltshire Regt. but was discharged several months later in 1918 after a severe bout of influenza which left him “permanently unfit”.  (The flu epidemic in 1918 and 19 in the UK was the “Spanish flu” that killed between 40-50 million people worldwide.) He left the regiment to become a farrier, but in 1924 he joined the Royal Tank Corps as a Motor Driver, and later transferred to the Sutherland Highlanders. Eric lived in the village for some time after the war.

F Hallett –  Frederick Francis, known as Fred, the oldest of the 6 brothers, was born here in 1895. He enlisted in the Royal Navy in April 1914 initially for 12 years, and spent the war serving on HMS Erin. In 1916, Erin was present at the Battle of Jutland, but saw no more enemy action for the remainder of the war. He left the Navy in 1928, and married Lilian Sibley, the daughter of John Sibley (below). Fred Hallett lived on in AG, building no 3 Hillside on Rock Hill where he lived until he died in 1977; he is buried at St Andrew’s.

J Hallett – John Robert Hallett had been a butcher’s assistant here before the war. He was born in 1897, the second of 6 sons of Francis and Alice Hallett (nee Stone, from Aveton Gifford).

W H Hallett - Private William Henry Hallett was 15 or 16 when he first enlisted in May 1915 in the Royal Field Artillery, although he gave his age as 19. In July he transferred to the 8th battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment; this regiment was posted at the end of the year with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force to serve in Mesopotamia. William’s records show that by July 1916 he was in hospital with jaundice. He was declared “unfit for further military service” several months later, and suffering from other medical problems “aggravated by active service in Mesopotamia” was invalided out of the army in February 1918. Before the war he had been a “shoeing smith” here in the village, and his discharge papers indicated that he would return home to this job, but instead he started work as a clerk at the Woolwich Arsenal. He caught influenza which then turned into pneumonia, and he died aged 18, on 2nd September 1918.  His parents Francis and Alice had 6 sons all born in Aveton Gifford; 4 of them served in WW1, but thankfully the other 3 survived. (Francis was a retired Petty Officer in the Royal Navy on moving back to his wife’s village.)

S Hannaford – maybe Stanley Hannaford, born 1879, parents Henry and Maria who lived at Burn Cottage. After Henry died Stanley lived on there with his mother, working as a farm labourer.

A Harris – Arthur Frederick, born in AG in 1885, the son of Mary (nee Tuckerman) and Frederick Harris, one of the wheelwrights in the village. He enlisted in the Navy in 1908 as a cook and left in 1923. During the war he served on HMS Canopus, a battleship, and HMS Canning, the first kite balloon ship of the Royal Naval Air Service. After the war he lived in Walnut Major until his death in 1957, and is buried at St Andrews.

H Harris – Henry Thomas Ford Harris, younger brother of Arthur, born 1894 in the village. After the death of both his parents he followed Arthur into the Navy in April 1914 as a cooks mate, and served until 1928 as a cook. During the war he was for 6 months on HMS Jupiter, a battleship based in the Humber, then on HMS Erin with the Grand Fleet, taking part in the Battle of Jutland in 1916. He seems to have left the area after coming out of the Navy.

P Harris – probably Percival Samuel Harris, born in Ashburton in 1896. By 1911 Percy had left and come to work at Harraton Farm for the Hodders, and one set of his attestation papers give Aveton Gifford as his address at the time of enlistment. In  November 1914 he joined the Devonshire Yeomanry but transferred to the Machine Gun Corps in 1916, and then to the Machine Gun cavalry in 1918. He served with the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force for much of the war, but in 1919 was discharged as “no longer fit for Military requirements”; he had had 2 periods of hospital treatment in Egypt for fevers, and then was shot in the head and neck leading to a further hospital admission in October 1918. He was considered no longer fit for duty and was sent home in May 1919, to be discharged from the Army and to employment with his mother at West End Dairy in Ashburton.

A Hart – There are no records to identify his WW1 service, but probably Albert Richard Hart who was born in the village in 1899. His widowed mother Elizabeth Jane Hart (nee Lavers) had been born here herself and by the time he was born his family had moved back to Aveton Gifford. Family members remained in the village – his sister Hilda had married Walter John Taylor (below), and his mother lived in the village until her death in 1935.

M HarveyPetty Officer Mark Beer Harvey, R.N., O.N. was born in Backawton in 1878 but had moved to the village, and married Lily Elizabeth Putt in 1903. He had joined the Royal Navy in the 1890’s and during part of the war served with the Australian navy. In 1914 he was wounded on the Australian cruiser Sydney during the engagement with the German cruiser Emden in the Indian Ocean.

H Horton – Captain Harold Horton MC. He was born in the parish in 1889, to parents Richard and Mary. After going to school in the village he went on to Kingsbridge Grammar School, and is on their Roll of Honour. A month after the outbreak of war he enlisted in the Middlesex Regt to serve in Egypt, then to France in 1916 where the whole battalion was quarantined for typhus, then disbanded. After returning to the UK he trained as an officer and was commissioned as 2nd Lieut with the Gloucesters, fighting in France for the remainder of his service; in November 1918 after leading his company in a dawn attack he was awarded the Military Cross for his “coolness and daring under heavy fire”. After demobilisation he became the headmaster at the primary school for many years, served on the parish council, and in WW2 was appointed Major of the local Home Guard. He had married Charlotte Comins during his officer training in 1917, and they lived in the village until their deaths; he died in the School House in 1955, and both are buried at St Andrew’s.

H Hurrell - Corporal Henry Hurrell was born in the village in 1892, the second son of Charles Hurrell, a sawyer in the village, and his wife Jane. Henry enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery, and by 1918 was serving in India. Records for him are very sparse, but show that he died in Karachi on 18th October at the age of 24, is buried there, and commemorated on the India Gate Delhi memorial. His older brother William survived.

W Hurrell – Not positively identified from service records, but thought to have been William Hurrell, known as Bill, the eldest son of Charles and Jane. He had a bakery business in Bantham, walking there every day to start baking at 5 in the morning. He had 7 sons and a daughter.