Wed, 07 Nov 2018
MOST war dead were buried where they died, but there are 16 Commonwealth War Graves from the First World War in Newtown Road Cemetery, all with a story to tell. The Friends of Newtown Cemetery is working towards compiling records of all who are buried there and below are the details of some of those soldiers in the conflict.
Edward Pellew Plenty, son of the head of Plenty’s, the well-known Newbury employer. A flying ace who made repeated flights over France, he was promoted to Major at 20. He survived the war only to die on November 22, 1918 – 11 days after the Armistice – of Spanish Flu.
Thomas Arthur & Reginald Joseph Maccabee (pictured) were both badly injured at the Battle of Cambray, 1917. Reginald died in a casualty clearing station on the battlefield, but Thomas was rescued after laying three days in no-man’s land: besides his injuries he was also frost-bitten. He had both legs amputated and seven fingers and finally succumbed to his injuries on March 1, 1920.
Phil Wood had the grave officially recognised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and, following a letter printed in the Newbury Weekly News, the group was able to trace descendants of the family who have now had the grave restored.
Alexander Herbert Davis (seated at the centre in the front row holding the football) has a house at St Bartholomew’s School named after him. Not a direct casualty of war, but a soldier in the Artists’ Rifles, he was buried with full military honours, following an operation for a brain tumour.
Harold Sidney Freeman was one of the thousands of casualties of the first day of the Battle of the Somme (July 1, 1916). Wounded and sent home, he died in a military hospital on September 6.
For more information visit www.fnrcnewbury.org.uk