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WWI nostalgia: street names remember the fallen

Ker Walk, Hammond Way, Wheeler Lane and Blackman Walk in Yateley are named after men killed in the First World War

Captain Ronald Hugh Walrond Rose

Four new roads in Yateley will be named after men who were killed in the First World War.

Ker Walk, Hammond Way, Wheeler Lane and Blackman Walk will be street names in the Hampshire Lakes retirement village currently under construction.

After a suggestion by Yateley Town Council, Hart District Council will officially name the roads in memory of the three men killed in 1914 and one who died in 1917 at the £37million Anchor Trust site when it opens in the spring of next year. Along with the four remembered in the road names, able Seaman Mark Hammond and Gunner Lloyd Wheeler were killed early into the war, when HMS Good Hope was sunk off Chile by German armed cruisers on November 1, 1914.

 

These two naval men were both born in Yateley and their stories are included in the Yateley Society’s 2014 exhibition in Yateley library, which runs from the end of August until the end of October.

Cpt Cecil Ker

Captain Cecil Howard Ker is one of the 42 men named on the Yateley War Memorial and was of the first of them to die in the First World War.

An officer in the Bedfordshire Regiment, he was killed at the age of 30 on September 15, 1914. Captain Ker had already served in the Boer War.

On New Years Eve 1913 he married Dorothy Hill Climo at St George’s Hanover Square in London.

She gave birth to their son Johnnie George Skipton Ker on June 4, 1914, exactly two months before Britain joined the war.

Captain Ker survived the Battles of Mons, Le Cateau, the retreat to Paris and the Marne, but was killed during heavy shelling as the battalion were in support around Missy during the Battle of the Aisne.He is buried in Vendresse British Cemetery, 16km south of Laon.

Dorothy was the youngest daughter of William Hill Climo, a retired lieutenant colonel in the army medical corps. Like many of his contemporary officers Captain Ker had been a public school boy.

He had played cricket and football for the school team at Cheltenham College.

Dorothy’s father lived at a house then called Fir Glen, just off Mill Lane in Yateley, in 1914. He died there in 1919 and his wife died in Bournemouth in 1922.

It seems likely that Dorothy was living at Fir Glen with her parents and her three-month-old baby when she got the news of her husband’s death. Captain Arthur Craven Charrington and Captain Ronald Hugh Walrond Rose, both killed in the First World War, are not commemorated on Yateley War Memorial, yet they have a strong connection with the town.

Cpt Arthur Charrington

Captain Charrington’s widowed mother Isabella lived at the large house called The Poplars, at the junction of Chandlers Lane and Vicarage Road.

Although she had been living at Offham House in East Sussex when her son was killed on October 20, 1914, she had moved to Yateley by 1919.

Why Isabella chose not to have her son commemorated on Yateley’s war memorial is a bit of a mystery since she and her daughter were living there when the lists were drawn up.

Captain Charrington, who died at the age of 32 in action near Ypres, is listed on at least two other memorials including Offham and in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Cpt Ronald Rose

Captain Rose was killed in France only two days after Captain Charrington,

Captain Rose was another former public school boy, born in London with Scottish roots he had been educated at St Paul’s school.

He joined the Cameronians Scottish Rifles in 1900 and had been appointed commandant of The South African School of Signalling at Pretoria in 1910.

His regiment was sent to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force, resulting in his early death on October 22, 1914, aged 34.

In 1910 Captain Rose married Hetty Fletcher in Eastham, Merseyside, where they had two daughters – Audrey, born in 1912 and Jean Diana, born in 1914.

Hetty received the news of her husband’s death while she was living in Cheshire and not long after the war she moved to Yateley.

She did not move in time to have her husband’s name inscribed on Yateley War memorial, but was in time for her Yateley address to be recorded by the Commonweath War Graves Commission as Captain Rose’s next of kin living at The Paddock, Yateley.

The house that Hetty renamed The Paddock was none other than Fir Glen, the house owned by Captain Ker’s father-in-law.

Hetty continued to live at The Paddock until after the Second World War.

When the Yateley Society started recording oral history in the 1980s she was well remembered by many as a breeder of horses.

 

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