Colliers Wood, Christ Church

Christ Church, Colliers Wood (listed as Mitcham on the original roll) sent the largest contingent of members to war, 13, of all of whom survived, though three are noted on the roll as having been wounded. They include three sets of brothers (Druett, Jennings and Parslow). Alfred Miller was married to another Druett, so may have been a brother-in-law to the two Druetts. The father of the Parslow brothers was also a ringer, a fourth brother also served (Charles Henry Parslow), but was presumably not a ringer.

  • Private Alfred Robert Brewin — 2/5th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment; 21st (County of London) Battalion (First Surrey Rifles), 23rd (County of London) Battalion and 18th Battalion (London Irish), London Regiment; Wounded. [only 23rd battalion, London Regiment mentioned on original roll]
  • Sergeant William Crossley — RNAS Tregantle, RNAS Cranwell, Royal Naval Air Service; Royal Air Force. [Joined RNAS with number F45883 in January 1918. Based at Fort Trgantle until 3 Febraury he was then transferred to Cranwell. He transferred to the RAF on its formation on 1 April 1918, when he would have received the number 245883 (drop the F and add 2 and leading zeores to make a six figure number in the range 200001-299999). The record for 245883 is not available in AIR 79, suggesting he may continued to serve in the RAF after the war. The muster roll created at the formation of the RAF does show 245883 W Crossley as a wireless operator. There is still no service record available].
  • Gunner Hector James Dewdney — 190th (Wimbledon) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery; Wounded/Sick. [Discharged from 5C Reserve Brigade. Original roll states he was wounded, but the Silver War Badge lists he was discharged due to sickness. Middle initial given as I on original roll, but in fact he seems to have been known as James in the army, but Hector to ringers]
  • Captain Horace Charles Druett — 2/5th Battalion East Surrey Regiment; Indian Army Reserve of Officers (IARO), attached 1/54th Sikhs, Frontier Force. [Commissioned from the ranks, transferred to IARO, possibly with the intention of trying for permanent commission in Indian Army, but seems to have felt misled as to his prospects there and returned to East Surrey Regiment. Brother of Harold below]
  • Private Harold James Druett — 5th Reserve Cavalry Regiment; 19th Battalion, Tank Corps. [Listed as only initial H in original roll, only Tank Corps service noted. Brother of Horace Charles above.
  • Private Douglas Hall — 3/5th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment. [Forename and unit confirmed by Ringing World mention in 1915, but not conclusively identified in census or army records. Possibly Douglas Charles Hall, brother of Leonard Henry Hall who is known to have been in the choir at Christ Church.]
  • Private Joseph Thomas S Jennings — 1/5th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment [Initials given as J S T on original roll, brother of Arthur Martin below, and possibly brother-in-law of Alfred Miller].
  • Private Arthur Martin Jennings — Royal Army Medical Corps [Brother of Joseph Thomas S above, and possibly brother-in-law of Alfred Miller].
  • Sapper/Private Alfred Miller — 6th Provisional Company, Royal Engineers; 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade; Lancashire Fusiliers; D Company, 24th (Home Service) Battalion, Cheshire Regiment; 29th, 18th & 16th Battalions, Manchester Regiment [Army record states “Pretends to be slightly deaf”, twice admitted to hospital, once with haemorrhoids, and possibly Spanish Flu in November 1918. Possibly brother-in-law of the two Druett brothers above. Ringing World in january 1917 notes him as eighth member of tower to join up].
  • 1st Class Air Mechanic Percy Lewis Parslow — 57 Squadron, 20 Squadron and 11 Wing, Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force [Brother of Arthur Malcolm and John William below].
  • Private Arthur Malcolm Parslow — 3 London Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps; 13th (County of London) Battalion (Kensington) & 15th Battalion, London Regiment. [Served in Middle East, hospitalised on various occasions with minor ailments, record difficult to make out]
  • Serjeant John William Parslow — 15th (County of London) Battalion (Prince of Wales’ Own Civil Service Rifles), London Regiment; Wounded, gas 1918. [After being gassed in May 1918 he brielfy returned to his unit in June 1918 before being hospitalised again in August, rejoining his unit again on Armistice Day]
  • Serjeant Percival Charles Rabbetts — 6th (Reserve Cyclists) Battalion, Royal Sussex. [no overseas service]

Further information about the bells and their ringers today cab found on the church website, or the Surrey Association website.

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2 thoughts on “Colliers Wood, Christ Church

  1. Pingback: Colliers Wood – Lucky 13 | halfmuffled

  2. Pingback: Colliers Wood, an update on William Crossley | halfmuffled

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