Ewhurst History Society

« April 1917

MAY 1917

A Military Wedding

A local young lady, Miss Helen Beatrice Frecheville was married at Christ Church Lancaster Gore to Lieutenant Kenneth Mitchell RN Submarine Service. The Frecheville family lived at HighWykehurst. The best man was Lieut. Colin Cantlie (who would later come to live in the village at Garlands)

News from the Front

It was reported that Private Harry Kilhams, aged 24, had been Killed in Action near Ypres on the 16th May. Before the war he had been living with his parents, John and Elizabeth at Ruet Cottage, Maybanks and was working as a gardener. He had volunteered for The Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment in August 1914, at the beginning of the War and had served at the Battle of Loos and the Somme.

Death of under-age soldier

Albert Sellings died at his home in Ewhurst on 30th May, aged 18. The actual cause of his death is not known, the War Memorial book only states ‘of illness’. Albert had enlisted in the Royal Engineers in Guildford in September 1915 giving his age as 19, although he was only 16. As he was 5’8” tall he initially got away with it, and served as a Driver at Aldershot until February 1916 when his true age was discovered and he was discharged as he had "made a mis-statement as to age on enlistment". At the time of his death he would have been old enough to re-enlist, but was presumably already suffering from illness.

His older brother, Frank, was also at home, having been discharged as result of wounds. He was a regular soldier who had joined the The Queens in 1911 and as part of the BEF had been involved in the fighting in France since the very beginning of the War. He recieved  serious injuries at the Battle of Loos in 1915 and after a long period of convalescence had been discharged as medically unfit for service. In May 1917 he was given an honourable discharge with a Silver ‘Wounds’ Medal. The Silver Medal, often called a ‘Wounds Medal’ was given to ex-soldiers to wear on their civilian clothes to avoid unwanted attention for women giving out white feathers to men not in uniform.

June 1917