Trooper Willam E Smith

Trooper W.E.Smith

2nd/5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment

Service no: 44636

Died 16th April 1918 aged 19 years.

There is little information to be found regarding Trooper Smith.

Death was registered in Spilsby in 1918.

LAF (E) Ronald Henry (Harry) Dibben

Ronald Henry (Harry) Dibben

Leading Air Fitter      Fleet Air Arm

Service no: FAA/FX 75163

Died 15th November 1942 during the sinking of HMS Avenger, taking part in ‘Operation Torch’ aged 24 years.

Commemorated at Lee on Solent Memorial.

Born in Gosport 4th August 1918, to Harry & Clara Dibben.

Ronald was only 6 years old when his father died.

His mother, Clara, remarried in 1926 to William John Curle in Alverstoke (Gosport).

Ronald’s stepfather was a sergeant in the Portsmouth division of the Metropolitan Police. He retired from the force in 1931.

Records show that at some time subsequent to this, the family moved to Halton Holegate. The ‘Register of 1939’ shows William and Clara living at The Cottage, Northorpe Road. William is recorded as working as a County Court Bailiff, and still with the Met. Police reserve.

Ronald was not living with his mother and stepfather by this time, presumably having enlisted in the R.A.F. as records show that Ronald attended King Edward VI Grammar School in Spilsby, and that he passed the entrance exam to R.A.F. Halton, Aylesbury, (Buckinghamshire) in 1934.

Ronald married Irene May Jesty in 1940. There are no records of any children, or that Irene remarried.  She died in 1984.

HMS Avenger.

Part of a convoy, the HMS Avenger (Royal Navy escort aircraft carrier) came under attack at 03:00 hrs on 15th November 1942. U-Boat 155 fired upon the convoy hitting 3 ships, including the Avenger, which was struck on the port side, midships. The resulting explosion tore through the bomb room and ignited the munitions stored there. A secondary explosion resulted in damage, such that the ship broke her back and sank in under 5 minutes. The Commanding Officer, 67 Officers and 446 ratings were lost. Only 12 crewmen survived.  

Private William Shaw

Pte. William Shaw

8th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment

Service no: 1514

Died of wounds 15th May 1918 age 22 years.

(Listed as ‘wounded’ on 29th August 1917)

Parents: George and Annie Maria Shaw, Halton Holegate.

Excerpt from the Halton Holegate village book:

“It is with great sorrow we have to record the death, in France, of William Shaw age 22 years, son of Mr and Mrs G. Shaw, Northorpe Road. He was a boy of our day school, Sunday school (also a Sunday School teacher) and a member of the choir. He wrote a postcard home saying “I am quite well” but when the official news came, it was found that the next day after sending the above message he had passed away. When he joined the Army he was working as a gardener, near Grimsby where he was greatly respected. He is also remembered with affection at Mavis Enderby and Aswardby, where he worked for some time. We all send our heartfelt sympathy to his mother and father.”


Private Fred Edward Roughton

Pte. Fred Edward Roughton

7th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.

Service no: 15157

Killed in action in Belgium.

Died 23rd December 1915 aged 20 years.

Commemorated at Menin Road South Military Cemetery,                           

West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Awarded the Victory medal.

Also commemorated on a plaque at St Andrew’s Church, Little Steeping.

1 of 6 children of Abraham & Minnie Roughton, farmers of 

Rookery Farm, Croft, Wainfleet.

It is possible that Pte. Roughton was *‘concentrated’ to the Menin Road Cemetery.

Private Frank Basker

Private Frank Basker

6th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment Infantry division

Service no: 4808277

Died in North Africa 30th March 1943 age 22 years.

Parents Frank and Gertrude Basker, of The Forge, Spilsby Road, Halton Holegate.

Frank married Grace Edna in March 1941, and a son, Colin, was born in 1942.

In October 1938 Frank’s brother, Harold, was shipped back to the U.K. from Yokahama, and spent time at the Military Hospital Woolwich, before being discharged home ‘incapacitated’. Harold died in 1943 age 28 years.

Frank’s remains were *concentrated from Tamera (Tunisia) to Tabarka Ras Rajel British War Cemetery (Tunisia).         

Private John Thomas Grey

Pte. John Thomas Gray

1st/7th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Service no: 18955

Died 13th April 1918 Age 25

Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Gray of 19, Albert Street, Brigg, Lincolnshire, formerly of Halton Holegate.

John enlisted whilst living at Shipley, Yorkshire aged 22, occupation at the time a Railway porter.

When John was 7 years old his father was also a railway worker. The family were living in Skipton at that time.

John’s brother George was also killed, in 1917, whilst serving in the War.

John and George were the only children of Thomas and Elizabeth.

Lance Corporal George Grayson

Lance Corporal George Grayson

1st Battalion Norfolk Regiment 

Service no: 40467

Died on 22nd April 1918.

Age 32 years.

Buried at Military cemetery Morbecque.

Parents: 1 of 3 children born to Thomas and Elizabeth Grayson.

George’s mother, Elizabeth died in 1918, a few months after her son’s death.

When George was 16, he was working as an Agricultural labourer.

Excerpt from the Halton Holegate Village Book:

It was with great sorrow we heard of the death of George Grayson, son of Mr and Mrs Grayson, Fen Side. Not long ago he was home on leave and looked remarkably well. Soon after returning to France he was severely wounded, and a few days ago notice was sent to his aged parents to say that he had died in hospital. Mr and Mrs Grayson and family have the sympathy and good thoughts of all in the parish. Pray God help them to bear their burden.


Gunner George Stanley Corden

Gunner George Stanley Corden

Royal Horse Artillery

11th Hon. Artillery Company

Service no: 1398130

Died, whilst as a P.O.W. on 28th March 1942, aged 24.

Parents: William and Sarah Ann Corden, Halton Holegate.

Served in the R.H.A. with the British Expeditionary Force in France. He was captured in Calais in May 1940, and subsequently reported as ‘missing’ in various reports. He was a Prisoner of War at Camp Stalag XXIB Schubin, Poland.

Initially buried at Konigswarthe cemetery in Germany, but later *concentrated in the Berlin    1939-45 War Cemetery, 9th June 1947.

Driver George William Gray

Driver George William Gray

‘B’ Battery 46th Brigade. Royal Field Artillery.

Service no:  21358

Died 28th November 1917 age 22.

Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Gray of 15, Wrawby Street Brigg, formerly of Halton Holegate.

In the 1911 census George was 15 and living in Halton Holegate with his parents, working as a farm labourer. (His brother John was not living at home at this time, presumably he stayed in Skipton).

George’s brother John was also killed in action, in 1918.


Corporal Charles David Fiennes Smith

Corporal Charles David Fiennes Smith

7th Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment

Service no: 14418029

Died 18th October 1944 age 19 years.

Commemorated at Maacheeze (Sterksel Monastery) Cemetery.

Parents Revd. Charles Whadcoat Smith M.A. and Ruth Fiennes Gwendoline Smith, of Halton Holegate Rectory.  (Revd. Smith was Rector of Halton Holegate from 1943 to his retirement in 1971. He died on 17th May 1985.)

Excerpts of an article taken from The Standard 20th June 1945.

Award for gallantry.

“The rector of Halton Holegate, near Spilsby, has just received word that, on the recommendation of the Commander in Chief of the 21st Army, H.M. The King has advised the mention in dispatches of Cpl. Charles David Fiennes Smith, who died of wounds while leading his men in battle in North-West Europe on October 18th of last year, at the early age of 19. The award was for gallantry while David was a Lance-Corporal in the Norfolk Regiment. David had just completed his education at St John’s school, Leatherhead when he decided to postpone the continuation of his studies and ‘do his bit’ for King and country.”