Memorials to the Devon's that rest in Devonshire Cemetery by Elaine Way.
Lt Noel Hodgson M.c.
Lieutenant William Noel Hodgson M.C. - was twenty-three years old, a son of the Rt. Revd.
Henry B. Hodgson and wife Penelope. His birth was registered in Thornbury, Gloucestershire where his father was Vicar before taking a living at Berwick-Upon-Tweed.
William Noel was awarded the Military Cross for bravery at the Battle of Loos in 1915. He had aspired to be a writer and had pieces published in newspapers and magazines. After the war, his father put together some and published under the title “Verse and Prose in Peace and War”. This quote from “The Devonshire Regiment 1914-18” published in 1926 relates to 1st July 1916 :
“Lieut. Hodgson the Bombing Officer was a particularly fine officer ..... nearly as much liked and respected by the 8th as by his own battalion. His loss was most severly felt.”
William Noel was educated at Durham School. His name is on memorials at Thornbury, Berwick-upon-Tweed and Christ Church, Oxford. The author Charlotte Zeepvat has researched his life and in 2014 her biography was published - ‘Before Action - William Noel Hodgson and the 9th Devons ’.
Pte Frederick Edward cartwright
Private Frederick Edward Cartwright - 13370 - Husband of G. Cartwright, Gale Road, Littleborough which is where Frederick was born in 1889; he married Gertrude Fitzsimmons in the autumn of 1907. In 1911 he worked as a ‘Scourer’ in a mill that specialised in producing velvet fabric.
Prior to that he was employed in a dye-works at Littleborough. He and Gertrude had a daughter, Evelyn Gertrude born in 1908, then a son Ernest in 1912.
In 2018 Rochdale’s newspaper had a feature commemorating men lost in the Great War including life-histories of those from Littleborough. It showed a photograph of Fred Cartwright looking solemn in his army uniform, complete with a recognisable regimental cap-badge.
He is remembered on Littleborough’s war memorial and that of the Ebenezer Congregational Chapel, where a service in his memory was held on 6th August 1916.
2nd Lt Travers Farrant Adamson
Second-Lieutenant Travers Farrant Adamson - Son of Travers Patrick Muirhead Adamson and Ethel Adamson of Corleone, Longham, Wimborne. This is only two miles miles from the church where Barry and I were married in 1966.
Travers Farrant was twenty years old when his life was sacrificed - not long after leaving Hurstpierpoint College in Sussex, where he had been Captain of School. His father, although named on his CWG page had died in 1905. He was an artist, a painter of landscapes born in Australia, came to England and married Ethel Farrant the daughter of an Exeter doctor. Travers and his two brothers were born in London, but their family home was in Penzance. Ethel and one of her daughters were still there in 1911, so maybe Longham did not become their home until after that date.
During WW1 his brother Christopher served in the Royal Flying Corps and survived. Travers Farrant is named on the Roll of Honour at Hurstpierpoint, where 112 pupils and staff lost their lives in the Great War; he is also on war memorials at Ferndown, Dorset and the parish church nearest to Longham, All Saints at Hampreston. Dressed in his officers uniform with cap-badge of the Devonshire Regiment, his photo can be seen online - calmly smiling.
His mother chose a mixture of Latin and English for Travers’ headstone; the first three words can be
translated as “Bravely and Faithfully” :
Private Alfred Frederick Weston
Private Alfred Frederick Weston - 12540 - Son of Mrs C.S.Weston, 85 Millins Road, Leytonstone.
Alfred was born 1896. His father was an engine-driver for Great Eastern Railway which operated out of Liverpool Street Station and census 1911 shows Alfred was also employed by them. He enlisted in London on 1st December 1914 and went to France on 27th July 1915.
Charlotte Zeepvat’s biography of William Noel Hodgson and 9th Devon's uses diaries and letters written at the time and tells that Alfred was army servant to Lieutenant Hodgson. Greatly valued because of being energetic, willing and resourceful, Alfred accompanied his officer into battle. After the events around Mansell Copse on 1st July, the battalion’s Chaplain took a band of survivors togather up their dead. Alfred and William Noel Hodgson were found together. Lieutenant Hodgsonhad bullet wounds to his leg and Private Weston was clutching a partly-opened bandage. As he hadbent to tend Lieutenant Hodgson’s injuries, a single bullet passed through both their necks.
After the war William Noel’s father compiled a book of his son’s stories and poems, some of which had been previously published in newspapers and magazines. One story relates to an officer’s servant ‘Private Pearson’ who is thought to be based on Alfred Weston. His name is on Great Eastern’s memorial at Liverpool Street Station in London. The 1,220 names have been transcribe and put online. Alfred joined the railway company in March 1910 as a coach painter at Stratford.
(London) carriage department. He is also remembered by London Online WW1 Memorial.
Captain Duncan Lenox Martin
-Aged 30 - Brother of Mrs D.L. Jeltes, Swaylands, Brockenhurst.
He was born 1886 in Algiers; his father was an ostrich farmer. Duncan was educated at a school near Bristol where, in census 1901, he is a ‘Pupil Boarder’ aged 14. He followed this by going to art school at St. Ives in Cornwall. Early in WW1 he volunteered for the army and on 29 October
1914 was commisioned into 9th Devons, rising in rank to become Captain, then arrived in France on 28th July 1915.
It was Duncan Lenox Martin who realized that 8th and 9th Devons would be required to do the impossible at the planned start of the Somme offensive. He made every effort to explain to those in command why their part in the enterprise would be worse than useless, but it was too late to alter plans which included positioning of troops from other regiments.
Officers of both battalions were aware of enemy weapons trained on the strip of no-man’s land which their troops would have to cross in order to reach the objective, the village of Mametz. The idea was for British artillery to wipe out those guns before the battle began. But one machine-gun was left and it proved to be lethal. Captain Martin and officers of the 8th and 9th had no option but to lead their men into annihilation and submit themselves to certain death. In addition to those buried in their own trench, more Devon's were lost that day in the fighting around Mametz.
Duncan Lenox Martin’s name would seem not to be on any war-memorial in England. In one of the only known photos, he is sitting in a deck-chair smoking a cigarette in a long holder. His sister requested the only possible tribute appropriate for his headstone - the motto of his regiment which is also a description of the man himself : “ Semper Fidelis ”