Godstone, St Nicholas – The Humphery, or is that Humphreys, brothers?

Five members of the association went to war from St Nicholas, Godstone. Sadly one, Arthur Frederick Roberts, did not return, killed in action in the final advance to victory in Belgium on 16 July 1918.

The most complicated to sort were the three Humphrey, or Humphreys, brothers. Virtually every available source gives a different variation on the surname, and for William Henry and Arthur David it’s not been possible to completely resolve their service histories from the available information. IN the case of Arthur David there is a recruitment register entry, but that shows him going to the Rifle Brigade (under age), while the roll states he served with the Royal Corps of Signals (a corps which didn’t even exist during the war, with signalling largely being the responsibility of the Signal Service of the Royal Engineers – though as the service of the last man, William Thomas Beeson shows, there were a large number of signallers in the artillery too). However, there is one medal card for a man with service in both the Rifle Brigade and the Royal Engineers, which may provide the missing link (and if he really did serve on after the Royal Corps of Signals was created, it would mean that his service record may still be retained by the MOD). The oldest of the brothers, John Robert has surviving service records, so we can see he was a pre-war territorial. He spent his service in India (as, in all likelihood, did William Henry), and served in the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919. He had contracted malaria during his stay in India in 1916, and this led to several periods of hospitalisation, and when he was discharged in 1920 (or more accurately, disembodied) he received a 10% disability pension as a result.


2 thoughts on “Godstone, St Nicholas – The Humphery, or is that Humphreys, brothers?

  1. Steve Garnett

    Hi David,

    Where can I find the recruitment register? Is it for a particluar unit? My great-grandfather served as a signaller in the Great War and having been demobilised in 1919, re-enlisted the following day. He eventually left the army in 1947.

    Many thanks,

    Steve Garnett

    1. davidunderdown95 Post author

      It’s the Surrey Recruitment Registers. They are online on FindMyPast, or you can by a CD from the Surrey History Trust (if you look at the Surrey History Centre website you’ll find full details). Basically it’s been transcribed from the surviving ledgers of the two recruiting districts which covered Surrey (basically the recruiting areas for the East Surreys and Queen’s, though people who joined other units via the recruiting offices in the district are also included). Not every ledger did survive, so you don’t find everyone, and of course particularly in the early stages of the war some people went up into London to enlist.


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