Centenaries in August

8 August 1918 Norman Leslie Critten aged 34. Son of Mr Charles Pierson Critten and Mrs Anne Critten née King of Williamstown, Victoria, Australia. Crit, as he was known to his friends, was shipping manager with McAlister & Co in Singapore. During the Singapore Mutiny of February 1915 he was part of the Singapore Volunteers that turned out to quell the mutineers. Near the end of 1915 he returned to his home town in Australia from where he joined up. He left Melbourne onboard HMAT Hororata on 23 November 1916. At the time of his death Crit was a gunner acting sergeant major in the 10th Brigade Australian Field Artillery. The Australian Red Cross has several eyewitness accounts of Crit’s death but he has no known grave. He is remembered at Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery, France.

9 August 1918 Thomas Stuart Nash aged 29. Son of Rev Cecil William Nash and Mrs Meriel Nash née Anderson of Kincardine O'Neil in Scotland. In Penang Thomas worked for Boustead & Co. He was a member of Penang Cricket Club. In March 1917 he returned to the UK where he received a commission in the Royal Air Force, joining the 80th Squadron at the front as a lieutenant. He died of wounds at Number 61 Casualty Clearing Station. Thomas is buried at Vignacourt British Cemetery, Somme, France.


11 August 1918 Edward Michael Fitzgerald Law aged 20. Son of Sir Archibald Law and Lady Louisa Alice Law née Squarey. Edward’s father was Senior Puisne Judge of the Straits Settlements from 1893, and Chief Judicial Commissioner of the FMS, retiring in 1912. Michael was born in Wiltshire but spent his childhood in Singapore before being sent to boarding school in England, from where he applied to Officer Cadet training in 1915 at the age of 16. He was gazetted 2nd lieutenant in the 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment in April 1916 when he was one month shy of his 18th birthday. He was killed in action on the Somme. His brother Robert was killed in action on 31 October 1918. Both brothers are listed in Ireland’s Memorial Records 1914-1918. Edward is buried at Bouchoir New British Cemetery, Somme, France.

21 August 1918 David Cyril Duncan aged 27. Son of Mr Robert Gowans and Mrs Margaret Alma Duncan; husband of Mrs Violet Johnston (remarried). David worked on the Jawi Estate for the Penang Rubber Estates Company Province Wellesley and was commemorated on the memorial in the Penang Cricket Club. He left in September 1915 to enlist in the London Regiment and later received a commission. At the time of his death he was a 2nd lieutenant in the London Scottish 3/14th Battalion London Regiment. He has no known grave and is remembered at Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

23 August 1918 Harold Alcester Tom Hewlett aged 30. Son of Mr Thomas Hewlett and Mrs Florence Hewlett. Tom worked for the Singapore Municipality from where he was transferred to Penang as Assistant Municipal Secretary. As well as being a private with the Maxim Section of the Penang Volunteers, Tom played rugby for the Penang Cricket Club, where he was named on the memorial. In December 1914 he left Penang to return to England where he enlisted with the Artists Rifles, London Regiment. He was commissioned in August 1915 and at the time of his death was a captain in the 4th Battalion the London Regiment, Royal Fusiliers. He has no known grave and is remembered at Vis-en-Artois, Pas de Calais, France.

24 August 1918 Arnold Ashton Justice Warner aged 25. Son of Mr Oliver William Warner and Mrs Liela Warner. Arnold was born in Darjeeling and attended Sherborne School in England. The school’s roll of honour mentions that Arnold was a lieutenant with the Singapore Volunteer Infantry. He worked for Boustead and Co in Penang where he was also remembered on the Penang Cricket Club war memorial. In May 1917 he left Penang and by December 1917 was gazetted second lieutenant 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. Arnold was at first thought to be wounded but it was later learned that he’d been killed in action. He is buried at Croisilles British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

25 August 1918 Guy Stanislaus Martin aged 23. Son of Mr William Martin and Mrs Sarah Elizabeth Martin née Abbot. Guy’s father was a prison warder in Singapore, where Guy was born. A career soldier, Guy had enlisted in the Royal Engineers Field Service in 1913 at the age of 18. He spent most of his army career in the war and almost made it through. At the time of his death he had been transferred to the Royal Field Artillery as an officer cadet and was awaiting his posting to officer training. He was killed by shell concussion at Bapaume. He military file still recorded him as a 2nd corporal with the 5th Signal Company, Royal Engineers. His nephew, also Guy Martin, has a detailed section of the family website dedicated to his uncle:http://www.martinfamilyhistory.co.uk/Gsm25.htm. Guy is buried at Achiet-Le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas De Calais, France.

Anniversaries in August

1 August 1915 Alcide Emile Laurent aged 31. Father Laurent was a priest of Les Missions Etrangères de Paris (MEP) who first came to Malacca in 1908. He later came to Singapore to take charge of the Chinese St Mary’s Church on Serangoon Road and the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Johor. Like all Frenchmen, he was a reservist called up for duty, returning to France in October 1914. After training with the 8th Infantry Regiment in Bergerac he became a stretcher bearer at the front. At the time of his death he was the sixth Frenchman from Malaya to die in the war. ‘Ses funérailles eurent lieu le lendemain 2 août 1916. Il repose dans un village de la Somme, à Harbonnières, au milieu de ses camarades qu'il aimait tant.'

6 August 1915 Herbert Mervyn Dennison (aged about 20). Bertie was the son of Mr John Charles Richard Dennison, the well-known Senior Boarding Officer of the Government Marine Department at Singapore. The two Dennison brothers, who were Anglo Indians, arrived in Singapore in 1892, settled down and married into the Eurasian community. Bertie attended Raffles Institution and some time after his father’s death in 1906 he moved to Australia. He enlisted in the 4th Battalion (Infantry) of the Australian Army as a private and embarked on HMAT Euripides at Sydney on 20 October 1914. His exact date of death is unknown, being between of the 6 and 9 August 1915 during the Battle of Lone Pine. The date of 6 August is used as the official date, although evidence taken by the Australian Red Cross found a witness who said Bertie died on 7 August. Bertie is remembered Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey.

10 August 1915 Michael James Aloysius Foley aged 33. Son of Mr William James Foley and Mrs Alice Foley née Nicholson; husband of Mrs Alice Mary Foley née Chilton. Michael was born in Singapore and brought up in Penang. He attended St Xavier’s Institute from where he won the Queen’s Scholarship in 1899 to study Law at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. After his graduation he became a teacher. For many years he was in the Middlesex Regiment Territorial Battalion as a lieutenant. At the outbreak of war Michael’s regiment was called into service as the 2nd/10th Battalion Middlesex Regiment. He was promoted to captain and adjutant. Michael was one of several Eurasian officers in the British Army. (Research is ongoing.) The regiment went to Gallipoli via Egypt where Michael was killed on the first day. He is remembered at the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey.

10/11 August 1917 George Bernard Stratton aged 40. Son of Mr Thomas Henry Marshall Stratton and Mrs Kathleen Helen Stratton née Scott. Husband of Mrs Gladys Dundas Johnston (remarried) née Knowles; father of George Bernard Stratton b 20 January 1918 . George worked as a planter in Malacca as a manager for the Telong Rubber Co. Previously he had been with the Malayan Civil Service until 1911 and was also a member of the Singapore Cricket Club. At the outbreak of war George returned to England and was gazetted 2nd lieutenant in the Berkshire Regiment in 1915. He was promoted major upon joining the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry in November 1915 and served with the BEF from 20 June 1916. He was killed in action at Coxyde and is buried at Ramscappell Road Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

15 August1917 Victor Augustine Flower aged 41. Son of Sir Wiliam Flower and Lady Georgiana Rosetta Flower née Smyth; husband of Mrs Winifride Digby Flower née Pigott; father of William Digby Flower b 11 March 1915. Victor was an architect and partner with the well-known Singapore firm of Swan & McLaren, which is still in business today. Denis Santry, the designer of the Singapore Cenotaph, was later a partner with the same firm. Victor was an active member of the Volunteers in Singapore. He was on home leave in 1914 to be married when war broke out. He is our highest ranking man, a lieutenant-colonel 13th Battalion London Regiment. He was killed in action near the village of Hooge, west of Ypres and is buried at Perth Cemetery (China Wall), West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

16 August 1917 Cecil Richard Langham aged 26. Son of Colonel Frederick George Langham and Mrs Frances Mary Langham née Ashby. Cecil worked in Singapore for Patterson Simons & Co. He was a keen rower, having been secretary of his college boat club at Cambridge, carrying on his sport with the Singapore Rowing Club. Before coming to Singapore, Cecil had been an officer with the Royal Sussex Regiment and was again gazetted to his old regiment, going to the front in June 1915. He died while trying to rescue one of his wounded men. He is buried at Vlamerthinge New Military Cemetery, Belgium.

29 August 1915 Geoffrey Garnett Horsfall aged 31. Son of Mr Alfred Horsfall and Mrs Mary Horsfall née Garnett; husband of Mrs Mary Frances (Minnie) Horsfall née Lloyd; father of Geoffrey Newstead Garnett Horsfall and Ethel Mary Garnett Horsfall. Geoffrey worked for Paterson, Simons & Co when he first came to Singapore, after which he opened up a brokering firm with JD Saunders. Things did not go well in the business and he moved his family to Western Australia in August 1914 where he went into the pearling business. His wife, Minnie Lloyd, was a daughter of the well-known Lloyd family of Singapore and at least second-generation Singaporean. Although he could have received a commission in the army, Geoffrey wanted to get to the fighting as soon as possible and enlisted in the Australian 10th Light Horse Regiment in November 1914. En route to Europe, they were diverted to Egypt to retrain as infantry. He died on his first day at Lone Pine, where his is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey.