Remembering Worthing’s fallen

The Worthing men who died in April 1915 while serving their country in the First World War.

Z/2700 Rifleman Bernard Harold Godwin

Rifle Brigade F Company 3rd Battalion

Died April 4, 1915, aged 23

Bernard Godwin was born in Worthing in 1892.

His father, John Godwin, was a shopkeeper selling groceries, provisions, wine and spirits.

The family, consisting of parents and four children, plus a general servant, lived at Ewendene, Liverpool Gardens (now 23 Shelley Road).

On leaving school Bernard found employment as a clerk for a firm of book sellers and stationers in Hove.

In 1911 he was lodging near his place of work at a house in Church Street, Hove.

On September 9, 1914, Bernard enlisted with the Rifle Brigade at Lambeth.

While in action with his regiment in France he fell ill with scarlet fever.

He was admitted to the military hospital at St Omer on March 24, 1915, and died there on April 4 of that year.

He is buried in the Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery.

3407 Rifleman Percy Dunford

Rifle Brigade 2nd Battalion

Died April 19, 1915, aged 22

Percy Dunford was born in Worthing in 1893.

His father William worked at the Gas Works in Lyndhurst Road and the family lived at 33 Park Road, later moving to 66 Orme Road.

Percy was a pupil at St George’s School and on leaving he found work repairing cycles.

In 1909 he enlisted at Brighton into the Rifle Brigade and trained at Winchester.

When the war began he was in India with the 2nd Battalion.

They took part in the battle for Neuve Chapelle and soon afterwards were involved in the capture of Hill 60.

The hill was taken by the allies but the Germans counter-attacked, and it was in this action that Percy was killed near Fleurbaix.

He is buried at Y Farm Bois Grenier Military Cemetery and remembered on the St George’s School War memorial and also on his parents’ grave in Broadwater Cemetery.

28972 Lance Corporal Herbert Bernard Green

Canadian Infantry 16th Battalion

Died April 23, 1915, aged 34

Herbert Green, known as Bernard, was born on April 21, 1881, the son of Edward and Eliza, in Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire.

They later moved to Ellesmere, Gratwicke Road, Worthing (now 29 Gratwicke Road).

Following his education at Eton, Herbert enlisted with the Northumberland Fusiliers for seven years, where he held a commission until 1908.

During this time he served in the Boer War.

It is likely that Herbert emigrated to Canada and worked as a rancher.

On September 23, 1914, he signed an attestation form to serve with the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force.

He was attached to the Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment) 1st Canadian Division, and was killed in action near Ypres.

He is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial and Heene Parish War memorial.

186567(Po) Petty Officer Joseph Gilbert Romer

Royal Navy HMS Osiris

Died April 25, 1915, aged 35

Joseph Romer was born in Portsmouth on June 3, 1880, the son of hairdressers Benjamin and Rebecca Romer.

He joined the Royal Navy on November 12, 1895.

The 1901 census shows him listed as Able Seaman Joseph Gelusis Romer, boarding with his brother-in-law in Portsea.

In 1905 he married Minnie Louise Edwards, daughter of a Worthing fishmonger and poulterer.

By 1911 Minnie and their two daughters were living at 3 Elm Terrace, Elm Grove, Worthing (now 373 Tarring Road), while Joseph was based at HMS Vernon at Portsmouth.

Joseph was serving on HMS Fauvette during the Gallipoli landings, and had transferred to the dispatch boat HMS Osiris when he was wounded during the landing operation.

He died of his wounds on the beach and was buried at sea.

He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial and on Heene Parish War memorial.

1019 Rifleman Montague Bush

Rifle Brigade 1st Battalion

Died April 26, 1915, aged 27

Montague Bush was born in Worthing in 1888, the second child in a family of six.

His parents were William, a railway porter born in Findon, and Elizabeth, née Aland.

The family home was at 42 Orme Road, Worthing.

On leaving school Montague worked for a time as a grocer’s assistant.

On August 11, 1905. he enlisted in the Rifle Brigade at Brighton.

He served nine years and by the end of his time he had risen to Signaller 1st class.

He was described as an “excellent man, clean, hard working and a good signaller. Would make a good telegraphist.”

In 1914 Montague married Beatrice Alice Landick at Colchester.

He was posted to France with his regiment and on was killed in action near Ypres.

He is commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial and the Holy Trinity School memorial.