Lance Corporal Douglas Harold Denham
Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for this research.
Douglas Harold Denham was born in the 1st quarter of 1892 in Ramsgate, Thanet in Kent to clerk, professor of music and organist George Denham and Mary Denham nee Torr.
Douglas’ father George Denham was born about 1861 at St Luke’s, Old Street, Islington, Middlesex to jewel case maker and jeweller John Barden Denham and Amelia Denham.
Douglas’ mother Mary Torr was born about 1852 in Islington, Middlesex to master silversmith John Torr and Eliza Torr.
In 1881 Mary was working as a dried flower maker.
George Denham and Mary Torr married by Banns on the 4th of August 1883 at St Mary’s church in Islington, Middlesex. The Banns were called on the 8th, 15th and 22nd of July 1883 at the same church. At the time of the wedding George was working as a clerk and was living at 38 Hemingford Road in Islington. Mary was living at 59 Gipson Square in Islington.
Douglas Harold Denham had 6 siblings: Alice Mary, George Torr, Stanley Thomas, Mary May, Herbert Spencer and Winifred Maud.
During the 1891 Census, the family lived at Downs, St Lawrence, Ramsgate in Kent. George was working as a professor of music and Mary was looking after their children Alice Mary, George Torr, Stanley Thomas and Mary May. The family also employed a servant.
Douglas was born in the 1st quarter of 1892 in Ramsgate and he was baptised on the 27th of May 1892 in Ramsgate, Kent.
By the time of the 1901 Census, the family moved to Dorking in Surrey. They lived at Cliftonville in Dorking. George was a professor of music and organist and Mary was taking care of Alice Mary, George Torr, Stanley Thomas, Mary May, Douglas Harold, Herbert Spencer and Winifred Maud.
At the time of the 1911 Census, the family moved to 41 Avondale Road in Croydon, Surrey. George was still working as a professor of music, his wife Mary was at home and of their children Mary May was a vocalist; Herbert Spencer a student of music; Douglas Harold was an accountant clerk, Alice Mary was at home and Winifred Maud was at school. The family also had a boarder: teacher Florence Palmer. The house had 11 rooms.
Douglas Harold enlisted in London and became Lance Corporal of the 6th (City of London) Battalion (Rifles). His service number was 1847. At the time of enlistment he lived at South Croydon.
Douglas Harold disembarked on the 18th of March 1915 to France.
He died on the 25th of September 1915 during the great advance at Loos. His brother Lance Corporal Stanley Thomas Denham wrote to his parents: “Douglas had just reached the first German trenches, when he received his mortal wound. He died an hour later, and happily suffered no pain”.
He was buried at the Maroc British Cemetery, Grenay in France. A special memorial No 54 bears the inscription: “With Christ”.
According to the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser, Douglas “had been through many trying experiences, and on one occasion eight shells fell almost at his feet; not one of them exploded”. He lived in Dorking for 6 years.
His father George received £3, 8s and 10d on the 31st of January 1916 and a further £4 on the 16th of August 1919 of Soldier’s Effects.
Douglas Harold was awarded the British War and Victory medals and the 1915 Star. He is also commemorated at the South Street Memorial in Dorking.
Born Ramsgate, Kent
Lived South Croydon
Son of Mr G. Denham, 41 Avondale Road, Croydon. Late of Dorking
Regiment 6th Battalion. City of London Rifles Regiment
Date of Death 25th September 1915
Place of Death Loos, France
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Cemetery Maroc British Cemetery, Pas de Calais
Image © Simon Jervis 2014