St Mary’s, Wimbledon – the last tower on the roll

St Mary’s, Wimbledon, sent three ringers to war. Fortunately all returned – though as yet two are not definitely identified. Richard Rapson is easy enough to find in censuses, a 33-year-old plumber living on Norman Road in Wimbledon. The records of the Royal Marine Engineers with whom he served are not yet digitised (or even name-indexed), but can be found in a sub-series of ADM 157. W de Vulder is also easy enough to find – but unfortunately there are two (brothers), Willis Austin de Vulder and William Ewart de Vulder. The roll indicates he served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, but the only military record found is a medal index card for a W A de Vulder who served with the East Surrey Regiment. Most difficult of all is Sergeant-Major S Howard of the Royal Air Force. There are no really convincing census candidates and his service record is yet to be traced.


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