Blencowe War Memorials Visited
In September Shirley & I visited the Cemeteries and Memorials of WW1 to pay our respects to our relatives who were killed or died in the conflict, and place a 'remembrance cross' at their grave or memorial. We included distant cousins, among them: Lawrence Cave Blencowe (Ploegsteert Memorial), Oswald Charles Blencowe (Thiepval Memorial) and Clarence George Blencowe (Daours Cemetery).
Lawrence Cave and Oswald Charles are names that members of the BFA, probably readily recognise. Clarence George was the Grandfather of Ian Blencowe from Australia whom we met at Blencow last year. Ian, Jean and Jacinta were visiting Clarenceís grave after the reunion.
The weather was very hot & sunny, average 32°C. The cemeteries and Memorials were all in immaculate condition thanks to the dedication of the Commonwealth War Graves Cemeteries staff.
The Ploegsteert memorial (Lawrence Cave) & Thiepval (Oswald Charles) were very impressive and the names were quite easy to see. The cemetery at Daours (Clarence George) had a very peaceful atmosphere with the happy chatter and laughter of the children in the school playground next door.
Ron & Shirley Currell, England
Thank you, Ron & Shirley for placing remembrance crosses on the memorials. Having researched these fallen Blencowes, I will add a little detail.
Both Lawrence and Oswald were sons of the Rev. Charles Edward Blencowe and Katherine Elizabeth Walcott and brothers of Cecilia, Arthur, Marjorie and William. Rev Charles was the 16th and last Squire of Marston St. Lawrence. Lawrence was born in 1887 at Marston St Lawrence and educated at St Edward's School, Oxford. He was in the schoolís Cricket XI from 1902 to 1906 where he topped the batting and bowling averages and captained the team in 1906. He was in the school XV Rugby side from 1902 to 1905 when he was captain.
Lawrence was a brilliant athlete, an Oxford Blue, who on religious grounds turned down an England Rugby Cap as the game against France was being played on a Sunday. Lawrence captained Yorkshire County Rugby and the North of England against the South Africans in 1912.
In 1914 he married Dorothy Priestley Cooper and had two children, Lawrence and Oswald (Jay). The boys didn't marry and lived out their days in the Marston St Lawrence church residence.
Lawrence died age 29 in a bombing raid over Bois Grenier, Flanders on 29 June 1917 with the 2nd/10th Battalion, The King's Liverpool Scottish Regiment.
Oswald Charles was born in 1890 at Marston St Lawrence and educated at St Edward's School, Oxford, where he was Senior Prefect. He was in the school Cricket XI from 1904 to 1908 and Captain in 1907 and in 1908. He was in the Rugby XV of 1905 to 1907. In 1907 he won the Gold Medal of the National Service League for Section, Commanders in the Rifle Club. After 1908 he became Head Boy of the Dragon School, Oxford and won the Boxing Cup in 1908.
Oswald enlisted in a P.S. Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and served as Sergeant in France for some months. His fellow soldiers remembered Oswald for his cheerfulness in trying times along with his singing and poetry in a dug-out He was then commissioned in the O.B.L.I. and lent by them to a battalion of the Rifle Brigade. He was killed in an attack at Guedcourt France aged 26 on 7 October 1916.
Clarence George Blencowe was born in Berwick, Victoria, Australia in 1879; Clarence was the son of John Abraham Blencowe and Annie Christina Brown. He was the eldest of 13 children.
Clarence's grandfather, John Blencowe, son of Francis Blencowe and Elizabeth Clements of Lower Middleton Cheney, was transported to Tasmania as a convict in 1841. His early family were from Kingís Sutton and his descendents have a DNA link back to the early Blencowes of Marston St Lawrence.
In 1902, he married Ellen Cusworth and resided at Brunswick, Victoria where his children Ernest, Herbert, Kenneth, Clarence and Keith were born. Prior to enlisting with the A.I.F., Clarence had spent 11 years in the Victorian Garrison Artillery where he was an instructor of Signalling. Clarence died aged 39 in St Quentin, France on 1 September 1918 with the 23rd Battalion, Australian Infantry, AIF.