Tag Archives: Charles Herbert Varo

Burstow page added – the first man of the association to die

The page for Burstow is now available. With 4 men of the 11 who served they were one of the hardest hit towers. Walter Eric Markey was the first member of the association to be killed. He had joined up as a regular in 1911, and was serving with 1st Battalion, Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment when he was killed in action during the First Battle of Ypres on 31 October 1914. Sadly both his name and unit are recorded incorrectly on the original roll, a case of Chinese whispers seems to have led to Markey, W becoming Mark, E W. In fact it was only recently when Alan Regin (the Steward of the rolls of honour at the Central Council for Church Bell Ringers) found a report of a memorial service for ringers around the London area follwing the war with W E Markey listed that the final piece of evidence to confirm the identification slotted into place, though it had been suspected for some years.

Also of note is Charles Herbert Varo, who appears on the Central Council roll as a ringer at Monk’s Eleigh in Suffolk. He is also listed on the war memorial at Bledlow, Buckinghamshire and it was initially unclear what his connection with Bledlow might be. However, som further research showed that he was gardener to Revd E Teesdale (also a ringer) who came to Burstow as rector in 1912 from Chelsworth, Suffolk (where Varo was living at the 1911 census) and subsequently moved to Bledlow in 1917. It seems Varo’s wife Alice also worked for the Teesdales, and presumably he would also have gone to Bledlow had war not intervened.

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