The accordians below provide details about all the men from Montgomery who are named on the War Memorial. They are not listed in the order they appear on the memorial, where they are listed in order of death. There are two sets of brothers who lost their lives, and so their details appear together. 2ND LIEUTENANT EDMUND MAURICE BUCKLEY 7th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers.


Lieutenant Buckley was the only son of Sir Edmund Buckley Bart., and he was connected to Montgomery through his mother, Harriet, who was the daughter of the Rev Maurice Lloyd, Rector of Montgomery between 1831 and 1873. His mother had a plaque erected in his memory in Montgomery Church, which can be viewed when the church is open. It is located to the right of the aisle, immediately before the South Transept.


The Buckley family was very wealthy when the first Baronetcy was created in 1868, owning 11,000 acres and much of the land between Mallwyd and Bala, in North Wales, together with substantial holdings in Lancashire and Yorkshire; having generated their wealth through mining and quarrying in Yorkshire, Lancashire and North Wales. Edmund’s father succeeded to the baronetcy in 1910, but in 1912, in line with the wishes of his late father, the estates were broken up and sold at auction in Manchester. Edmund was the 2nd Baron’s only son, and so when he died, and following the death of his father in 1919, the baronetcy died out.



Montgomery Wales


1914 to 1918

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7th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Lieutenant Buckley was the only son of Sir Edmund Buckley Bart., and he was connected to Montgomery through his mother, Harriet, who was the daughter of the Rev Maurice Lloyd, Rector of Montgomery between 1831 and 1873. His mother had a plaque erected in his memory in Montgomery Church, which can be viewed when the church is open. It is located to the right of the aisle, immediately before the South Transept.


The Buckley family was very wealthy when the first Baronetcy was created in 1868, owning 11,000 acres and much of the land between Mallwyd and Bala, in North Wales, together with substantial holdings in Lancashire and Yorkshire; having generated their wealth through mining and quarrying in Yorkshire, Lancashire and North Wales. Edmund’s father succeeded to the baronetcy in 1910, but in 1912, in line with the wishes of his late father, the estates were broken up and sold at auction in Manchester. Edmund was the 2nd Baron’s only son, and so when he died, and following the death of his father in 1919, the baronetcy died out.


The first man connected to Montgomery to die in action, Lieutenant Buckley was a qualified engineer and a graduate of Manchester University, where he is also remembered on their Roll of Service. He enlisted in August 2015, and was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. On the 9th of August 1915, he landed at Gallipoli, and died at Suvla Bay, of wounds, aged 29 on the 12th of August, just three days later. It is not known how soon after landing he sustained the wounds that would lead to his death. Lieutenant Buckley lies buried at the Lancashire Landing Cemetery, in Turkey, together with 1,236 other casualties of the Gallipoli campaign.

Montgomery Remembers

No. 13056, 9th Battalion the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regt) Charles Grant seems to have had a tragic life. He was born in Johannesburg in 1897, but by the 1901 census, he was in Montgomery, living with his widowed mother and 1 year old brother with his grandparents, Richard and Elizabeth Davies, aged 74 and 73 respectively, at 1, Cross Houses. It is not known how his father died, or what led to the return of the family to Montgomery. By the 1911 census, there is no record of Charles’ mother, and no record of her death has been found, but his grandparents had both died, (buried in Montgomery churchyard). It is possible that his mother had re-married and moved away, but no record of a further marriage exists either.


Charles had, by 1911, been adopted by a childless couple, John and Martha Brown of Retford, Nottingham. Their ages are given as 70 and 69 respectively, and they are described as retired. It is possible that they are relatives of his grandparents, given their ages, but it was not possible to prove this. In 1911, Charles, by now aged 14, was working, and his occupation in the census record is given as an apprentice engineer in a Heating Manufacturers. His younger brother was now living in West Ham, London with an aunt and uncle, so the brothers had been split up, and whilst Charles was described as adopted, his brother appears as a family member. No record exists to show when or where Charles Grant enlisted, but it is likely to have been in the Retford area, given his regiment. He was killed in action at Gallipoli on the 27th November 1915 aged 19, and is remembered at the Helles Memorial, panel 150 to 152.


The memorial stands on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula. It takes the form of an obelisk over 30 metres high that can be seen by ships passing through the Dardanelles, see picture. In excess of 21,000 names of those who have no known grave are recorded on the Helles Memorial. The casualty total in the Gallipoli campaign is estimated at over half a million men, around 252,000 Allied soldiers, and 251,000 Turkish soldiers.

Montgomery Remembers

No. 17392 - 19th Battalion, The King's (Liverpool) Regiment (3rd Liverpool Pals) Thomas Harri Jones was born in Guilsfield, in 1884, to the Rev Owen Baldwyn Jones, and his wife Elizabeth. Thomas was their youngest son, and the brother of James Morris Jones (see below). The Reverend Jones was a Welsh Congregational Minister, and so the family moved extensively around North Wales and Merseyside in Thomas’ youth, as the practice at that time was for each Minister to take up a new post every five years. Sometime after 1911, but before the outbreak of war, his three unmarried sisters, Eluned, Marian and Gladys moved to run the Post Office in Montgomery, where they stayed until the late 1930s, and comments from them appear in JDK Lloyds’ A Montgomery Notebook.


The post office was at that time situated next door to the Dragon Hotel, on the corner of Kerry Street and Market Square, in what is now a private residence. He signed up in Liverpool, on the 31st August 1914, almost immediately after the outbreak of the war.


He was working at the time as a grocer, and living as a lodger with an aunt on Merseyside, but he gave his address as Montgomery, where his sisters were living. It is very possible, given the date of his enlistment, that he attended a large meeting at St George’s Hall Liverpool addressed by Lord Derby, who urged men to enlist saying, “This should be a battle where friends from the same office fight shoulder to shoulder for the honour of Britain and Liverpool, you have given a noble example in coming forward.


You are certain to give a noble example on the field of battle” Thomas must have been up early on the 31st, as by 10 a.m. he was one of the 1,050 men who had enlisted that morning at St George’s Hall. Lord Derby asked the thousands of men remaining in the waiting queue to leave, and return on the 2nd of September, and from these first men who enlisted on the 31st August and in early September, was formed the 19th (Pals) Battalion. Thomas Harri Jones died of wounds, aged 29, on the 5th July 1916, having been injured in the first days of the Battle of the Somme, and he is buried at Dauors Cemetery Extension grave no II.B.1.


His sister Marion placed on his headstone the Welsh words Hyd oni wawrio y dydd - (Until the day dawns) She would choose the same words for their brother, James Morris Jones, who was to die two years later, see below.


We can see in the image above his enlistment papers, although the quality is not good, we can see his occupation, his place of birth, and the place and date of his enlistment.

Montgomery Remembers

No. 22135, 17th Battalion, The King's (Liverpool) Regiment (4th Liverpool Pals) Private James Jones was the eldest of the two sons of the Rev. Owen Baldwyn and Mrs Elizabeth Jones, who, by 1911 had retired to live at Groes Llwyd, nr Guilsfield.


The Reverend Jones was a Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Minister, which meant the family moved regularly and James lived in Llanasa, Flintshire, Gwersyllt, Denbighshire and on Merseyside, where there were a number of well-attended Welsh chapels in the early part of the 20th Century. By 1911 he was working as a Grocer’s Assistant in Litherland, which is now part of Merseyside, although at that time it was in Lancashire.

The record of when James enlisted exists but is very indistinct, and it is not possible to make out when he enlisted, although he did enlist in Liverpool; but in early May 1918, James was serving in Belgium with the King's (Liverpool Pals) at an area known as Ridge Wood, the name given to the wood standing on high ground between the Kemmel road and Dickebusch Lake 5 kms from the Flemish town of Leper, Belgium.

Leper is perhaps better known by its French name, Ypres.


James was severely wounded by a shell on the battlefield at Ypres on the 5th of May 1918, and although transferred to the casualty clearing station at Arneke, he did not recover, and died three days later, on the 8th May 1918, aged 34 years. He is buried at Arneke British Cemetery, grave ref: 11. c. 15.

James is one of the few servicemen for whom comprehensive records exist, some 17 copies of original documents are lodged with one of the popular genealogical sites, including details of his injuries, his effects, notifications to his family etc. The medical record, with its graphic description of his wounds, reveals the reality of the type of injuries sustained by some ordinance or a shell landed very close by, injuring his lower torso and causing internal injuries. The administration associated with the War was immense, and great care was taking to ensure any belongings were, where possible, returned to relatives.


The form to the right shows the official notification of James’ effects, sent to his sister, Marian, at the Post Office, some three months after his death. some ordinance or a shell landed very close by, injuring his lower torso and causing internal injuries. The administration associated with the War was immense, and great care was taking to ensure any belongings were, where possible, returned to relatives. The form below shows the official notification of James’ effects, sent to his sister, Marian, at the Post Office, some three months after his death.

Montgomery Remembers

Ernest was born in 1894, the son of Charles William Morris, a mason and bricklayer, and his wife Annie Morris, and they were living in Kerry Street, Montgomery before the war. Charles and Annie had 12 children, of whom only four survived into adulthood. Ernest, who was christened Alfred George Ernest Morris, was the youngest son, and in the 1911 census, he is shown as aged 17, and working as a cowman on a farm at Horsehay, Little Wenlock, Shropshire. This was a live in post, so he had already left home well before the war broke out. Ernest died of wounds, aged 22 on the 12th October 1916. He is buried in the North East corner of Montgomery (St. Nicholas) Churchyard. Families had to pay extra to have any lettering above and beyond the name, regiment and date of death. The rate was 3 pence and a halfpenny a letter. Rudyard Kipling was asked by the government at the time to draw up a list of suitable phrases, which would be acceptable for inscription. Records show that Ernest’s father chose the following inscription to be placed on his gravestone.


Peace, perfect Peace


It was not possible to discover any detail about Ernest’s war record, but given that he was serving with the Rifle Brigade it is likely that he was serving at Loos when he was injured, as that was where the 12th Battalion was engaged in 1916. It is of interest to note that whilst Ernest’s grave is cut in the familiar Commonwealth War Graves Commission design, it is of a black slate and not Portland stone. The Commission in the early days was mindful of the need to provide gainful employment for men returning from the war, and families were offered the choice of a stone which would have been quarried locally, or Portland stone. Like Sgt Williams, also buried in Montgomery churchyard, in 1918, Ernest’s gravestone is made of local slate.


Peace, perfect Peace

Montgomery Remembers

3rd Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment attached to the 8th Battalion. Lieutenant

Poultney was a solicitor, from New York, whose mother was living at Montgomery during the war. The County Times gave a report on his background and war record. Taken from the County Times Saturday, March 10th 1917......


"This young officer who was killed whilst leading over the parapet and amongst the barbed wire of the trenches, was a solicitor who came over from New York to obey his country's call. Though physically unfit he was determined to join the army and underwent a serious operation which enabled him to pass the medical test. He was wounded at Thiepval during the “big push” in the battle of The Somme, but returned to his regiment in France as soon as he was fit for duty again. His age was 33. He was a qualified solicitor and the son of a prominent solicitor. His widowed mother, who is in a frail state of health, and his sister reside at Oakfield Cottage, Montgomery, and deep sympathy is felt with them. During his visits home his genial and unassuming nature made him many friends at Montgomery. He must have had a premonition of his fate, for in a letter forwarded to his bereaved mother by his senior officer, who spoke in the highest terms of his fallen comrade, the late 2nd Lieutenant Poultney wrote “Thank God that you have been able to spare one boy for St. George and Merrie England”


Lieutenant Poultney was killed in action on the 18th February 1917, aged 33, and is remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial at Comines- Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium, panel 6 & 7. The Ploegsteert Memorial (colloquially known as Plug Street) is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) memorial for the missing soldiers who fought in the immediate area of the Ypres Salient on the Western Front. There are 11,000 men commemorated on this memorial. Most of those commemorated by the memorial did not die in major offensives, such as those which took place around Ypres to the north, or Loos to the south. Most were killed in the course of the day-to-day trench warfare which characterised this part of the line, or in small scale set engagements, usually carried out in support of the major attacks taking place elsewhere. His mother’s grave in Montgomery Churchyard also has a memorial to Lt Poultney


The photograph above is taken from the County Times, March 10th 1917. The inscription below is a little indistinct, but reads : John Bernard Poultney, killed in action in France, February 17th 1917. They live for evermore

Montgomery Remembers

Montgomery Remembers

No 291518 7th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers


Raymond Nathan Wilcox was born in Church Bank Montgomery to Nathan and Mary J Wilcox, and in 1901, his father is described as working as a Woodranger. Prior to enlisting, Raymond was still living at Church Bank in Montgomery, and working as a baker. His parents were by then living at Lower Lane Chirbury, some two miles from Montgomery.


There is some information available about Raymond, including his enlistment papers, where it shows he enlisted at Wrexham, and was hoping to work in the army in his trade as a baker. Instead, he found himself in the Egyptian Theatre of War fighting alongside his Montgomery colleague, Albert Jones, who was killed on the same day. From the date of his death is would appear that Raymond was fighting in Gaza, as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the First Battle of Gaza at the end of March 1917. Raymond Wilcox was killed in action on the 26th of March 1917, aged 20. His body was recovered and he is buried in the Gaza Cemetery. The document below shows the inscription his mother chose to have placed on his grave (4th record down) and the cost, 5 shillings and threepence (literally 26 pence in decimal coinage, but the equivalent of a quarter of a week’s wages then) “Forever with the Lord” This document shows the original name of the War Graves Commission, that of the Imperial War Graves Commission, which remained in force until 1960, when it changed to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Montgomery Remembers


Montgomery Remembers

No. 290728 7th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers.


Albert, christened Edward Albert was born in 1897, the youngest son of Robert and Agnes Jones. Robert was a Yard Labourer, and in 1911, Albert was living with his family at Frolic Street in Newtown, in a property described as having “5 rooms”.


Also living, and lodging with the household, together with his parents, two sisters and older brother, was another family, of two adults and two young daughters, giving a total of four adults and six children sharing the 5 roomed house.


Albert, then aged 14, was working as an apprentice at a cloth manufacturer, but prior to enlistment, he was employed as a farm labourer at a farm in Montgomery. This information was found in the County Times, but unfortunately the quality of the paper has deteriorated, and the name of the farm where he was working is indecipherable. Albert joined the army on the 12th of October 1914, one of the early voluntary enlisters, and before conscription came into force. The army papers show him as serving at home between that date and the end of May 1916, when he joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, and was sent overseas. The M.E.F was named in 1915 because it originally fought in the Eastern Mediterranean, and by 1916 the M E F was operational in Gallipoli, Salonika, Suez, Egypt and Palestine. Albert Jones was killed in action on the 26th of March 1917 aged 19 years, the same day as Nathan Wilcox (above) but his body was never recovered and he is remembered on the Jerusalem Memorial, together with 3,300 other men.

Montgomery Remembers

No 37553, 2nd Battalion the Lancashire Fusiliers, killed in action on the 23rd May 1917.


Will was born in Newtown in 1897, the eldest son of Penelope and Walter Jones. By 1901, the family was living in Salford, where Walter was working in the mills as a twist drill grinder. Will’s mother, Penelope came from a Montgomery family, and her father, Thomas Henry Evans of Belle Vue, Arthur Street, was a carpenter and builder. It isn’t clear which house is Belle Vue as there is no longer a house of that name on Arthur Street.


Thomas Henry Evans is described as employing four men and a boy in the 1881 census. Penelope was the eldest of six children, five girls and one boy, who succeeded his father into the business. By 1911, tragedy had struck Will’s family, as his mother had died, leaving his father to raise not only Will and his brother, but two further children also. Will, by then aged 14, was working as a stores boy at an electrical engineers, and his younger brother, Walter, had been sent away to a boarding school near Guilsfield. On closer examination of the list of names at the school, most of the boys were from Salford or other towns in North West England, and it appears this school may have been a charitable institution for families who were struggling. By the time Will enlisted to fight in the war, both his parents had died and he was responsible for three younger siblings Private William Jones was killed in action on the 23rd May 1917, aged 20.


Will enlisted with the Lancashire Fusiliers in Salford. There are no records available which relate to his War service, but his regiment was involved with the Arras spring offensive, and it is likely that this is where Will lost his life. He is remembered on the Arras memorial, pictured above. The Arras Memorial commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, and have no known grave.

Montgomery Remembers

Highland Light Infantry - 4th Battalion, and 19th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (DLI)


James was the only child of Dr James J. Robertson, described as ”a very caring and popular doctor.”, who lived, and practised at Oakfield House, Montgomery. James was born in December 1898, and raised and originally educated in Montgomery, first at the local Montgomery Church in Wales primary school before being privately tutored by the Rev. H. Rollason, (vicar of St Nicholas Church), and then completing his education at Murchison College, Edinburgh. His father was already a widower by 1901, when James was 3, and in 1903 he re-married, however, James Snr died in Scotland in 1911, when James was still only 14; and James is described on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site as being the Foster son of Mrs Margaret Ewen of Edinburgh.


The picture above is taken from the County Times dated the 11th of July 1917, which reported: “He joined up a few days following his 18th birthday, in December 1916, and was granted a commission in the H.L.I. - (Highland Light Infantry), - moving out to France in January 1917, he was critically wounded five months later. His uncle, a solicitor in Edinburgh, Mr John Robertson, W.S. (Writer to the Syndicate) of 15 Morningside Place, Edinburgh was informed of the injuries suffered by 2nd Lt Robertson and immediately journeyed out to France where he was able to visit his nephew in hospital before his death. NB The suffix WS is not as stated in the County Times, Writer to the Syndicate, but Writer to the Signet, a society of lawyers which to this day still manages a specialist law library, the Signet Library in Edinburgh. 2nd Lieutenant Robertson was injured in a bomb explosion on or about the 26th June, and was taken to hospital but died of his wounds 13 days later on the 9th July 1917. He is buried at Etretat Churchyard Extension, together with 262 other British men, and four German casualties. The original instruction for the lettering on the grave, shows the wording Mrs Ewen had chosen, and the informal nature of the wording shows they must have been very close.


She requested the grave be inscribed: Au revoir Jim, one more to welcome me when I cross the bar M.E.

Montgomery Remembers

No 56978 10th Battalion (1st Rhondda Pals) Welsh Regiment.


The Francis family lived at 4, Clive Terrace, Montgomery where their father, Francis Francis worked as a fishmonger. There were three children, the eldest, Lily, born in 1891, followed by Frank, born in 1897, and Frederick, born in 1900. (Fred was also killed in World War 1, see below) The family was hit particularly hard during this period, as not only were the two brothers killed, but Lily’s husband was seriously injured, and their cousin, John Albert Morris, also lost his life. (see later) Frank enlisted with the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry in October 1915, aged 19.


We have a copy of some of his original papers, and although the copy is not very clear, it shows that Frank was of very slight build—5’ 3” and with a chest expansion of 34” (160cm height and chest 86cm) Having first served in Ireland, he was sent to France where he was transferred to the Welsh Regiment. Whilst serving in France he became ill with pleurisy, and was treated in a hospital in Cardiff, followed by a short convalescence at home. He returned to France in the Spring of 1917. Soldiers kept in regular contact with their families, and the touching letter copied here, from Mrs Francis to Frank’s commanding officer, shows how anxious relatives became in the absence of news. This letter was written on the 15th August 1917, but sadly Frank had already been dead for 11 days.


Private Frank Francis was killed on the 4th of August 1917, aged 21. He is remembered at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. Panel 37. This memorial, in Belgium, lists the names of 54,406 casualties whose remains were never recovered.


Montgomery Remembers
Montgomery Remembers

No.56959, The Welsh Regiment


Francis William, known as Will, was born in 1897 and brought up in Montgomery, living with his mother and father first at Rowles Buildings (located where Rowes Terrace now stands) and then at Well House, Well St (now replaced by a pair of semi – detached houses opposite the doctors surgery). In the 1911 census, aged 14 he is described a working as a general labourer on a farm. His elder brother, Charles Edward also served in the forces, with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and was awarded the Military Medal, together with two other Montgomery men. There is some confusion over the spelling of the surname Bayson. On the plaque in Montgomery church, and early census records, it is spelled Bason. On the army papers (see below), and the 1911 census, it is spelled Bayson. Will died of wounds on the 20th of August 1917, having been critically wounded at the Battle of Langemark, which took place between the 16th and 18th of August 1917. He is buried at the Cement House Cemetery. Below is the standard notification of his next of kin, and to where any effects should be sent, and his medal card.


There are now 3,592 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried in the Cement House cemetery, of whom 2,425 remain unidentified.

Montgomery Remembers
Montgomery Remembers

No. 290327 7th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers.


Lance was one of the first Montgomery men to enlist, on the 10th of September 1914, and his attestation form shows that he was working as a butcher, and living in Churchstoke, whilst his parents, Thomas and Sarah were living on Chirbury Road in Montgomery. Lance was the eldest of three children, and his sister and brother had quite unusual middle names – Doris Amstia Vaughan, and Norman Cornelius Vaughan He was posted at home for the first year, before being sent to the Mediterranean with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force on the 7th July 1915. He remained in this theatre of war, fighting in Gallipoli and Gaza, until losing his life on the 6th November 1917, aged 21 and on the same day, and possibly at the same battle, as John Lloyd. There are a number of documents relating to Lance, and one of them showed how young men, away from home, occasionally found themselves in trouble. Below is a charge sheet dating from February 1916, when Lance found himself C.F.B. (Confined to Barracks) for five days, following a disturbance.


However, this did not affect his army career, as, having enlisted as a private, he was serving as an Acting Corporal at the time of his death. Being an Acting Corporal meant he received no additional pay, but took on additional responsibilities. The County Times in December 1917 reported: “Acting Corporal E.L. Vaughan, who is officially reported killed in action in Palestine, is the eldest son of Mr T.E. Vaughan, Chirbury Road, Montgomery who is himself in the army (another report states he was with the Royal Flying Corps) . Private Vaughan (A/Cpl) who was only 20, (21) was one of the first Montgomery boys to join up at the outbreak (of war) and served through the Gallipoli campaign and the first battle of Gaza.


Cpl Edward Vaughan was the eldest son of Thomas Edward and Sarah Emily Vaughan, Chirbury Road, Montgomery He is remembered on the Jerusalem Memorial, and his name can be found on panels 20-22 of this memorial, (together with John Lloyd) which has the names of 3,301 men whose bodies were never recovered from the battlefield.

Montgomery Remembers
Montgomery Remembers

No. 290314 7th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers


John was the son of William and Jane Lloyd, of Rownal Farm, and in 1911 the family was living at Chirbury Road, with John’s father described as a farmer and haulier. John was working as a cowman. He had three brothers and two sisters, and John was the youngest son. His eldest brother, Ernest also served in the Forces, and returned home wounded.


John has living relatives in Montgomery, and they kindly supplied the photograph.


John was killed in action on the 6th November, 1917, in the battle for Sheria and Tel el Khuweife, fought against the Ottoman (Turkish) forces, aged 25. Another man from Montgomery, Lance Vaughan, see below, was also killed on the same day.


John’s body was not able to be recovered and he is remembered on the Jerusalem War Memorial however, his family had the family grave at M o n t g o m e r y Churchyard inscribed in his memory, see picture below. The inscription states: Although you are in a far off land, Your grave we cannot see, But as long as life and memory last, We will remember thee

Montgomery Remembers
Montgomery Remembers

No. 3560, 1st Battalion, the Welsh Guards.


Richard was born in Kerry in 1884, the only son of Isaac and Mary Jones who also had four daughters. His father was the Main Inspector of Roads, and in 1901, Richard was living at home with his parents at 8, Princes Street, Montgomery, and working as a Grocers Assistant. By 1911, he was living independently at 35, Broadway, Shifnal, and working as a Grocer’s Van Driver. Vehicle driving was quite a rare but rapidly growing, occupation; in 1901 only 623 drivers were registered, but by 1911, there were 45,945 people described as drivers in the Census. The picture shows a delivery van of the period, and an example of the type of vehicle Richard may have driven.


Private Richard Jones was killed in action on the 1st December 1917, and is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial at Louverat, which commemorates more than 7,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South Africa who died in the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917 and whose graves are not known.

Montgomery Remembers
Montgomery Remembers

No 290347 “A” Battery 1st/7th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers


Fred was born in Liverpool, to George and Emma Gould, and in 1901, Emma, aged 46, George, aged 50, (with the given occupation of a Mariner), were living in Everton, Liverpool, and sharing a house with a Mr Charles Tanner, a park keeper, and his wife, Selina. By 1911 both the Gould and the Tanner families are living (separately) in Montgomery and it is possible that Fred’s mother, Mrs Emma Gould was Charles Tanner’s sister. Fred was living with his parents in Arthur Street before the war, and enlisted in Newtown. Records show that he was working as a cowman at Bacheldre Farm just outside Montgomery, prior to enlisting. Private Fred Gould was killed in action on the 22nd of December 1917, in the third battle of Gaza, possibly defending the city of Jerusalem from counter attacks by the Ottoman troops. He is buried in the Jerusalem War Cemetery grave ref: R.118

Montgomery Remembers

No. 25360 10th Battalion the South Wales Borderers.


Edward was born to Edward and Margaret Whittingham in 1899, and in 1901 the family was living at 5 Pool Road, Montgomery. He was the eldest, and only son, and had two younger sisters. By 1911, the family had moved to Plough Bank, and his father was working as a road labourer. His address at the time of death is given as Mill House, Montgomery, but this is likely to be Well House, which was situated at Well Street opposite the present doctors surgery, and where now stand a pair of semi-detached houses. Edward still has living relatives in Montgomery. He originally enlisted with the Shropshire Light infantry, but no military records for him survive, so it is not possible to state where or when he enlisted. Private Edward Whittingham was killed on the 5th of June 1918, aged 19, and he is buried at the Englebelmer Communal Cemetery Extension, grave ref: D.13. The Englebelmer Communal Cemetery Extension holds 148 graves. All War graves were inscribed with the name, and if requested, the age of the deceased. Families could have an additional inscription placed on the grave, at a cost, but Edward’s family, along with many other families at the time, did not do this. Families were charged 3 inscription, and it was suggested they selected from a list of suitable inscriptions, suggested, on behalf of the Government, by Rudyard Kipling. Many families felt the charge was pennypinching on the Government’s part, and refused to pay on principle.


Instead, they often chose to commemorate their loved ones locally, by placing a tribute on a family grave, (see John Lloyd) or, as in the case of Edward’s parents paying for a plaque in his memory, now owned by Mr Crowe, of Montgomery. This cost significantly more than an inscription on a grave, but was a personal tribute, and one which they could see, unlike a grave in a “foreign field”, which was unlikely to be visited by grieving relatives.


The plaque (right) was also an opportunity to display any medals awarded to the deceased

Montgomery Remembers

No.326609 2nd / 9th Durham Light Infantry.


George Edgar Mountford, was born in 1900 at what the 1911 census record describes as 9, Broad Street, Montgomery (which is currently the house next door to the Little Gallery, in the centre of Broad Street), but his birth record below shows that the family was actually living at Compton House, which is now the Post Office. His father, also George, was a draper, and his mother, Alice, was a dressmaker, and he had one older sister, Dorothy Alice. In the early part of the 20th Century, most people living in rural areas still had clothes made from fabric and trimmings they had selected at a local drapers; and it would appear that George Mountford senior was very successful, as he appears in the 1911 census, living at Belle Vue, Churchstoke, and is described, at the age of 40, as a retired draper. George’s birthday was on the 11th April 1900, and assuming he did not lie about his age, there were barely two months between him enlisting at the age of 18, on or after the 11th April 1918, and his subsequent death on the 10th June 1918. There are no records available about George’s brief army career, not even a record of his enlisting so we can only guess at why he enlisted with the Durham Light Infantry.


It is not known where George fought, but given where he is buried, it is very possible that he was injured and removed to one of the three large hospitals at the Western main port of Le Havre. Le Havre was the port through which British service personnel disembarked, and was the Number 1 base, containing at the end of May 1917, 3 general hospitals, 2 stationary hospitals and 4 convalescent depots. The picture below shows one of the hospitals, which was commandeered from the main casino in this busy port, and the original chandelier can be seen at the top of the picture.


George is buried in the main cemetery in the town, which is located in the centre of the town itself, and contains the graves of 1,690 servicemen.

Montgomery Remembers
Montgomery Remembers

SS Kennington Mercantile Marine


Oscar Lin was brought up in the Plough Inn, (in the Plough Bank area of Montgomery) see picture His father was Thomas, the Landlord of the Plough Inn, his mother Caroline; and it would appear that the family had a tradition of seafaring, as Oscar had a younger brother, Alexander, who is described in the census as having been born in the Indian Ocean. The picture shows Plough Bank with the Plough Inn, dated 1909, when in the hands of the Lin family. The Plough is the building to the left of the timbered cottages, with a sign attached.


At the time of his death Oscar was 38, and working as the First Mate on the SS Kennington, a coal ship, sailing out of Newcastle upon Tyne. He had been working at sea for some time, and below is a copy of his certificate of competence as a Master of a Vessel, gained in 1905. He gained his certificate as a Second Mate in 1899, taking six years to reach his qualification.


He was married and his wife was living in South Shields at the time of his death. It is not known if he had any family of his own. The SS Kennington, was a collier carrying coal along the Eastern coastline of England, and whilst on a passage from London to the Tyne at 10.45pm on the 12th June 1918; the ship was torpedoed without warning by a German submarine, the UB-108. The ship was hit in the stern, sending it straight into a vertical position from which it sank almost immediately. Miraculously, of the nine crew members, five survived, and the wreck of the Kennington still lies off the Yorkshire coastline. Oscar Lin was one of the four casualties. The company which owned the Kennington lost 10 out of a fleet of 13 colliers during the war.


Oscar is remembered on the Merchant Navy Memorial at Tower Hill, City of London. This is a memorial to those in the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who lost their lives in conflict and have no known grave. The memorial contains the names of 35,767 sailors, pictured below.

Montgomery Remembers
Montgomery Remembers

No. 88646 the 2nd/7th Battalion, The Kings (Liverpool) Regiment.


John Morris was born in Mochdre, near Newtown in 1896. By 1901, his mother, a dressmaker, was widowed and the family was living at Oak Farm Mochdre. He is linked to Montgomery through the Francis family, and the three young men who lost their lives, Frank and Fred Francis, and John Morris, had grandparents who were siblings, and John’s mother was brought up for a while in Montgomery, by her grandfather, who lived next door to the Francis family at Clive Terrace.


Private John Morris was killed in action on the 1st of September 1918, at the age of 22.


He is remembered on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial in France near Cambrai. This Memorial bears the names of over 9,000 men who fell in the two month period from 8 August 1918 to the date of the Armistice.


The timing of John’s death suggests that he was killed in one of a series of battles to push the Germans back to the Hindenburg line, after their front line had been broken by the Allied forces.


Interestingly, John is one of the few regular soldiers who left sufficient effects for probate to be obtained, and listed publicly. Below, and to the right is the extract, which shows that he left the sum of £212. 18s 6d; a considerable amount for a young man in those days; where the average wage was about £1—£2 a week. The information is taken from the Probate Registry for 1919.

No. 41360 the 6th Battalion, the Leicestershire Regiment.


Charles was born in Montgomery in 1899, to Evan and Emma Morris. He was the youngest of their children, and in 1901, was living at home, together with his brother, two sisters and a step-brother at 2, Chirbury Road. Given the address layout of the census, it is likely that this is the property now known as No 1, Plas Offa Cottages. His father was working as a gardener and groom in 1901, but by 1911 is described as a labourer on a farm, and Charles is described as a scholar.


Interestingly the 1901 census gives his name as William Charles, as does his baptism record, although by 1911, his name is given as Charles William.


He enlisted at Keighley, West Yorkshire, and died of wounds on the 14th Sept 1918, aged 19. Private Morris is buried at Varennes Military Cemetery.


It has not been possible to find out why he signed up at Keighley, for the Leicestershire Regiment, as there are no records, and no apparent family links in that area.

No 57490 2nd Battalion Manchester Regt.


Fred was born in 1900, to Francis and Elizabeth, at Clive Terrace Montgomery, and was the younger brother of Frank (see above). It is likely that Fred, like many young men, lied about his age in order to enlist. He may have felt inspired to enlist by seeing his brother Frank return to the front, and he enlisted at Wrexham, aged 17, rather than at Welshpool like many men living in Montgomery. We can assume that he lied about his age because his age on the Commonwealth War Graves site is given as 21, rather than his correct age, 18. Unlike his brother Frank, no papers remain which relate to Fred.


It is a possibility that his papers were destroyed during the blitz in the second World War, as the Records Office suffered a hit and a catastrophic fire ensued, destroying many valuable documents. The records which do survive show that as a soldier in the 2nd Battalion the Manchester Regiment, Fred would have been serving under Wilfred Owen, the well known war poet, who won the Military Cross for his action in the battle at Joncourt at which Fred lost his life. Wilfred Owen was to lose his own life a month later.


Private Fred Francis was killed on the 2nd of October 1918, a month before the end of the war, and is buried at Joncourt British Cemetery grave ref: 22


The picture shows the Joncourt British Cemetery,where Fred is buried, and which is small, with only 58 graves in total.

Montgomery Remembers
Montgomery Remembers

No. 104007 28th Battalion Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment).


Isaac was born on the 27th March 1884, and in the 1901 census was shown as working in Merthyr Tydfil as a coal hewer, aged 17; and living as a lodger with a family of five, together with another lodger, a total of four adults and three children sharing a 4 roomed house.


In 1911 he emigrated to Canada, sailing on the Virginian from Liverpool to St John, New Brunswick, see the extract from the passenger list, below, where Isaac’s name appears at the bottom of the list.


With over 375,000 British migrants, the years 1911- 1913 were the period when immigration to Canada from the UK reached its peak. Described as a labourer on the shipping list, he was allocated a piece of land to work on, the exact location of which is unknown. Because he had no wife or children, following his death, the land reverted into the ownership of the Canadian Government.


Isaac had a relative living in Montgomery, Mrs Betty Evans, (now deceased) who was able to explain that he was the eldest of 10 children, her mother being the youngest, and who provided the photograph of Isaac. She also stated that her grandmother received a pension of 5/- (25p) a week from the Canadian government, following Isaac’s death. He enlisted with a Canadian regiment to fight in the war, before being killed on the 11th October 1918, aged 34.


He is buried at the Niagara Cemetery, Iwuy, France, pictured, in grave D36. The Niagara Cemetery is a site that commemorates 198 World War 1 casualties, nearly all from Canadian regiments.

Montgomery Remembers
Montgomery Remembers

No. 11163 Cheshire Regiment


Sergeant Williams (Will) was born in 1893, the middle son of William and Martha Williams, and the 1901 census shows them living in Priestweston, with their family of three sons and two daughters. By 1911, the family is living at Burnt House, Montgomery, and Will’s father is working as an estate worker, presumably for Powis estates. By then Will, aged 19, is no longer living at home but we can find no record of him in the census. It is possible that he was already a serving soldier, but no records of his army career remain either.


In 1918, Will was based at Kinmel Camp, Bodelwyddan, North Wales, where he contracted influenza in the “Spanish flu” epidemic.


This developed into pneumonia, and he died, a month before the end of the war. This virulent strain of flu claimed over 250,000 lives in the UK, and 40 million lives world wide. In an environment where people were living in such close proximity as an army camp, the virus spread quickly. It is likely that Will, as a sergeant, had been involved in training recruits at this time, even though the war was drawing to a close.


Kinmel Camp was one of the five main training camps for the forces, and even had trenches dug, which can still be seen today, for men to use during their training.


Over 45,000 men were billeted at the camp at any one time, and the picture shows men queuing for the second showing of a film at the camp cinema. The camp was so busy that a set of 12 postcards was produced by the YMCA for men to send home, and the photograph is an example of one of these.


Sgt Wiliams died on the 17th of October 1918, the last person from Montgomery to die in active service.


Will’s body was brought home to Montgomery to be buried, and the County Times reports that a bugler was despatched from Kinmel Camp to play the last post at his funeral.


NW of the churchyard, near the Robber’s Grave, and both graves in St Nicholas Churchyard from the First World War are in slate, as opposed to the white Portland stone, see A G E Morris for details.

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1939 to 1945

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P/JX 126115 HMS Exmouth, Royal Navy


There is very little information about John Morgan’s life in Montgomery. His parents were Alfred and Emma Morgan, and they lived at Clive Terrace. John was married, to Margaret Hilda, and they lived in Welshpool.


Able Seaman Morgan died on the 21st of January 1940, aged 29, and was the first person from Montgomery to lose his life in World War Two.


He was serving on HMS Exmouth, (pictured) which was on escort duties off the East Coast of Scotland, out of Rosyth. The E-Class Destroyer was escorting a merchant ship, the Cyprian Prince, which was carrying guns and artillery to bolster the defences at Scapa Flow in the North Sea; when she was torpedoed by a German submarine (U-22) and sank with the loss of all hands.


The ship was hit at 5.30, and went down within five minutes and all 189 men on board perished. Naval Command ordered other ships in the area to sail ahead and not attempt to stop to pick up any men in the water, because the prospect of a further strike by the U boat on another ship would have meant the loss of even more lives. It had already fired on, but missed, the Cyprian Prince. 18 bodies were eventually washed up near Wick, and found by a boy playing truant from school. They were buried with full military honours in Wick.


Those whose bodies were never recovered, including Able Seaman John Morgan are remembered at the Royal Naval Memorial in Portsmouth, which faces the sea, and was built following the First World War; together with an identical memorial at Plymouth, and Chatham, to remember those who lost their lives whilst serving their country in the navy.


The Portsmouth memorial has 10,000 names from World War One, and 15,000, including John Morgan, who died in the second World War.


Montgomery Remembers

No. 4467050 16th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. (The DLI are still remembered as “The Faithful Durhams”)


Cyril Berwick was born in 1910, the son of John and Catherine Berwick, 2 Thornloe Cottage, Montgomery. In the 1911 census his father John is described as a foreman labourer at a coal merchant. He was related to Arthur Waldron (see above) by marriage.


There is no information relating directly to Cyril’s war record, but the DLI fought in North Africa, and at Salerno in Italy.


Before the regiment embarked for North Africa they underwent training at Great Yarmouth, and the timetable shown was one written by a member of the 16th battalion working on signals and which showed how their training was organised in a typical week.


Private Cyril Berwick died on the 17th of June 1941, aged 31, and is buried in the churchyard at St Nicholas's Church, Montgomery. It is likely that he had been injured or become ill while serving, and returned home for treatment but it was not possible to discover any further information relating to his service record.


The family had the following inscription placed on the grave: Peacefully sleeping Free from pain In God’s own time We’ll meet again

Montgomery Remembers
Montgomery Remembers

Sergeant Wireless Operator/Air Gunner 1165304 50 Squadron RAF


Sergeant Perry, who was known as Ron, was the son of Charles and Selina Millicent Perry and husband of Alice (Done) Perry, all residing at, and running the Crown Inn, Montgomery in 1939. Ron was a keen footballer, playing for local teams, a voluntary reservist, and a very popular young man in the area.


He had enlisted at the start of the war, joining 50 Bomber Command. Sgt (Ron) Perry was killed on the 25th of March 1942 aged 32, and is buried at Lorient (Kerentrech) Communal Cemetery grave ref: plot 62 Row A. Lorient is a town in the South of Brittany with a Naval port and Government dockyard.


His plane was shot down on one of many missions to bomb and destroy the critically important German Naval docklands that had been built as the largest WW2 U-Boat base of the war.


It is a small cemetery with only 30 war casualties from WW2 buried at this site. All 30 men buried at this site were members of the Allied air forces, including the RAF, Royal Australian, Royal Canadian and Royal New Zealand Air Forces.


Sgt Perry still has relatives living near Montgomery.

Montgomery Remembers
Montgomery Remembers

Petty Officer Stoker D/KX 89142 Service: Royal Navy


Adam Brownlee-Hogg was born around 1913, one of 6 sons born to Harry Crichton Hogg and his wife Helen. At the outbreak of war, he was already in the Navy, serving on HMS Glorious, a Royal Navy battle cruiser before being posted to HMS Tartar, a tribal class destroyer, affectionately known in the Navy as 'Lucky Tartar' having survived a number of sea battles.


In 1942 PO Brownlee-Hogg was posted once again, this time to HMS White Bear, a former luxury yacht first launched in 1908 as the Yolanda. Requisitioned and renamed in 1939, HMS White Bear served as a tender to the Navy's submarines.


Commander J F Drake RNR commanded the yacht in 1942 and the White Bear remained in service with the Royal Navy until 1946.


Petty Officer Adam Brownlee-Hogg RN was killed on the 13th of December 1942 aged 29, following an on board boiler-room explosion that killed 4 men. He was later buried at Greenock Cemetery 1 Recess. Queen Victoria Ground, along with the 3 other crew members who had died in the explosion.


Adam ’s relatives were evacuated to Montgomery from Plymouth following a bombing raid, and close relatives still remain living in the town.


Montgomery Remembers

No. 1179990 RAF (Voluntary Reserve)


Douglas was the son of Mr and Mrs George Purcell, of the Lion Hotel, Caerhowel, Montgomery and his sister still lives in Montgomery.


In October 1943, while Douglas was serving in the RAF, his sister Phyllis, then aged 16, was working at the railway station mail office at Caerhowel receiving and sorting letters and parcels. Telegrams were also delivered by rail at that time, and on the 28th of August 1943 she was handed the telegram, addressed to her father, that would inform the family that her brother had been 'posted missing' during the previous night's operations.


Sergeant Purcell had been killed when the Halifax aircraft (see picture of a Halifax of the period) for which he was the Flight Engineer, was shot down on a night bombing raid over Nuremberg on the night of the 27th—28th of August 1943. He was 22 years old.


However, it would be a further 40 days, on 7th October 1943, before the family was to receive the news, in a telegram , confirming the fact that Douglas had been killed in action. In fact, only one crew member of the seven had survived that night.


With great sensitivity and compassion, the crew members were buried by local German people in a nearby cemetery and they remained there until 1955, when their bodies were removed and reinterred in the Commonwealth and War Graves Commission Durnbach War Cemetery outside Nuremberg, together with 2,933 other servicemen who had lost their lives in Germany and Austria.

Montgomery Remembers

No. 1062 Royal Navy (RNVR) HM LCG


Kenneth was born in Montgomery in 1923, the son of Harold Thompson Rogers and his wife Sarah Puah Towena Rogers, who lived at Oak Cottage, Old Gaol, Montgomery.


The record of the Navy List shows that Kenneth was promoted to acting sublieutenant on the 26th October 1943. There are no records relating to Kenneth’s was record prior to this date, or relating to his enlistment. His role was as a Landing Craft Gunner; a Landing Craft (see picture) has two guns, one of which would have been operated by Kenneth, and were equipped to carry up to 40 Marines, sailors, ammunition and stores.


It is very likely that he took part in the invasion of Normandy, which began with D Day on June 6th 1944 and continued for 84 days until the 29th of August.


D-Day, the day of the initial assaults, was Tuesday 6 June 1944. The allied land forces that saw combat in Normandy on that day came from Canada, the Free French forces, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In the weeks following the invasion, Polish forces also participated, as well as contingents from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, and the Netherlands. Most of the above countries also provided air and naval support, as did the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the Royal Norwegian Navy.


Sub-Lieutenant Rogers died on the 31st of July 1944, aged 20, and is buried at Southampton (Hollybrook) Cemetery, section M, row 12, grave 134A

Montgomery Remembers

No. 346920 RAF (Voluntary Reserve)


Francis Knightly Butler was the son of Francis and Minnie Butler, and the family was living in Northfield, Worcestershire in 1911, when Francis was 8 years old. By 1930, information from electoral registers shows that he was living at 333, Dawlish Road Birmingham, still with his parents.


At the outbreak of war he and his wife Bertha were living at Clive House, Montgomery. Little is known about Francis, his occupation or what brought him to Montgomery, and no service records were found so it is not possible to say in which capacity he served. The rank of Leading Aircraftman encompasses a range of occupations within the RAF, including technicians, mechanics, clerks and orderlies.


Francis Butler would have been called up early on in the war as a member of the RAF Voluntary Reserve. He served throughout the war until he contracted tuberculosis, from which he never recovered, dying on Boxing Day, 26th December 1944.


Francis was the husband of Bertha May Butler, Montgomery, who died four months after him on the 21st of April, 1945 and is buried with him in the same grave in St Nicholas' churchyard, Montgomery.


Montgomery Remembers

No. 4194294 7th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Merioneth and Montgomery Battalion)


Arthur Norman Waldron was born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, but prior to enlisting was living at Cross House, Montgomery. He had married Doris Berwick from Montgomery in 1939, and they had a daughter. He was related through marriage to Private Cyril Berwick who served with the Durham Light Infantry, and who is buried in Montgomery Churchyard.


In early 1945 the 7th Battalion RWF were part of the Allied forces fighting from the Rhine towards the Elbe. We can assume that it was in these battles that Fusilier Waldron lost his life.


The picture shows the 53rd division in action on the 9th February 1945. Fusilier Waldron was killed on the 13 Feb 1945 aged 29, and is buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery.


In April 1946, the Army Graves Service established the Rheinberg Commonwealth Graves Cemetery recovering Commonwealth casualties from a number of local cemeteries. A total of 3,327 Commonwealth servicemen now lie buried or commemorated at Rheinberg War Cemetery.

Montgomery Remembers

Montgomery Remembers

No. 4193876 1st Bn. Royal Hampshire Regiment


John was the son of James Lewis Ancham and Edith Emily Ancham, of Rock Cottage, Montgomery. Both his parents are buried in St Nicholas Churchyard, Montgomery. John was married, to Violet Ancham from Newtonlands, County Down, Northern Ireland.


Corporal James Ancham died in the last days of the war, on the 13th of April 1945, fighting on German soil, aged 24. No details of his war record were available, and it was not possible to discover why he enlisted with the Hampshire regiment. He is buried in the Becklingen War Cemetery.


The site of Becklingen War Cemetery was chosen for its position on a hillside overlooking Luneburg Heath. Luneburg Heath was where, on 4 May 1945, Field-Marshal Montgomery accepted the German surrender from Admiral Doenitz.


Burials were brought into the cemetery from isolated sites in the countryside, small German cemeteries and prisoner of war camps cemeteries, within a radius of about 80 kilometres. Most of those buried in the cemetery died during the last two months of the war.


Becklingen War Cemetery contains 2,374 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 97 of them unidentified. There are also 27 war graves of other nationalities, many of them Polish.

Montgomery Remembers

No. 1414922 RAF Voluntary Reserve


George Pennie was the son of Edward and Mary Pennie, of Montgomery, and in 1911 they were living at Rock House, Arthur Street, Montgomery. Edward is described in that census as a shoeing and jobbing smith, and at that time they have two children, a daughter (Emily) aged 2, and a son (Edward) aged 1. We know they went on to have three more sons, of whom George was the second youngest. The family was relatively well off, in that they had three resident servants, although one of these is also a blacksmith.


George Pennie, as a member of the Voluntary reserve had joined up at the outset of war and served on RAF bases across the UK. His job was one of the more difficult, serving as part of the RAF’s airfield ambulance crews, tasked with dealing with crashed and returning damaged aircraft. Returning aircraft often had wounded men on board and part of George’s role would be to enter the aircraft to attempt to rescue and save those wounded men. In addition to trying to save wounded airmen who had returned to their own airfield, George would be part of a crew who had to attend to crash sites around their airfields as the critically damaged planes failed to make it back to base.


The picture shows an RAF ambulance of the period. The role could be compared with that of a skilled paramedic nowadays but with none of the high tech equipment we take for granted. His was a harrowing but vitally important role in saving lives. Leading Aircraftman George Pennie died on the 1st of May 1945, one month before the end of the war, at the age of 33. His grave is in Montgomery churchyard, and his family placed the following inscription on his gravestone:


We often look at your photo You smile and seem to say Grieve not I am only sleeping We will meet again some day.

Montgomery Remembers