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As part of our project we spoke to the relatives of three past Royal Parks' staff who lost their lives during the First World War. It was a fantastic opportunity to find out more about their personal stories and gain an insight into their wartime experiences.

Each video below focuses on a different member of staff, and consists of an audio interview with a slideshow of related images and photographs. Each is approximately 15 minutes long.

These interviews were possible due to the kind support of The Royal Parks' Guild and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Arthur William Berry (1882-1918)

Gardener, Hampton Court

Arthur William Berry was born in Wades Mill, Ware, Hertfordshire on 15 January 1882 to Thomas and Emma Berry. In 1901 he was employed as a domestic gardener to Sir Richard Trevithick Tangye, a famous electrical and mechanical engineer whose equipment helped launch Brunel’s steamship the Great Eastern, and he lived in the Coombe Ridge Estate’s Bothy on Kingston Hill. On 5 August 1905, he married Jane Pattenden in Kingston upon Thames. In 1911 he was working for the Office of Works at Hampton Court as a gardener and living with his wife and three children at 2 Elizabeth Cottages, Hurst Lane, East Molesey.

On 8 November 1915 Arthur enlisted at the recruiting office in Whitehall and was posted to 10 Company, Royal Garrison Artillery that was based at Queenstown Harbour, Cork as part of the South Irish Sea Defences. After three months, he was posted to 78 Company based at the Straits Settlement at Singapore and spent a year there before returning to Britain to be posted to 173 Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. Their firepower consisted of six-inch howitzers that were most often employed in destroying or neutralising enemy artillery, as well as putting destructive fire down on strongpoints, dumps, stores, roads and railways behind enemy lines. Having taken part in the second Battle of the Somme, that ended on 3 September 1918, Arthur was killed in an air raid on his battery on 25 September 1918.

He is buried at the British cemetery at Bertincourt Chateau; grave reference C3.

In this video we learn about Arthur William Berry from his granddaughter Carol.

Ernest Frank Goodalll (1899-1918)

Gardener, Hampton Court

Ernest Frank Goodall was born in 1899 in Kingston upon Thames to Frank, a gardener, and Margaret Ann Goodall of Gomer Road, Teddington, Middlesex. In 1911 his father is shown working for the Office of Works as a gardener and living with his family of six children at 18 Warfield Road, Hampton. By 1918 the family were living in Home Park, Hampton Court. Ernest followed his father’s profession and was working for the Office of Works at Hampton Court as a gardener when war broke out.

The date when Ernest enlisted into the army is unknown. However, it is known that he joined 11th Battalion, Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment and went to serve in France and Belgium. In August 1918, his battalion had been resting from the front line at Lappe, south west of Ypres, Belgium when on the 11th they were joined by 107th Regiment from the United States Army to form a unit strength of 50% British and 50% United States personnel. On 10 August, the battalion took up positions in the

front line near La Clytte between the Scherpenberg and Kermoy Farm. Over the next 12 days the battalion was kept under intermittent shellfire and they continued to send out working parties to maintain their defences; the battalion war diaries term these as “quiet days”. It was on 22 August at 10.00 pm that the German artillery carried out “slight shelling of Redoubt Line” one of the trenches occupied by the battalion. It was in this barrage that Private 67993 Ernest Frank Goodall was killed; he was one of only two ordinary ranks killed that night by the shelling.

His body lies in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium; grave reference XXV.C.26A.

In this video we learn about Ernest Goodall from his nephew Brian and great-niece Eraina.

Hori Tribe (1877-1917)

Propagator, Greenwich Park

Hori Tribe was born in 1877 to Hori, a farm carter, and Harriet Louisa Tribe in East Meon, near Petersfield in Hampshire. At age 14 Hori was employed as a game keeper’s help and still living with his mother, father, elder brother, four younger brothers and three younger sisters at Mare Pond, East Meon. On 20 October 1900 Hori married Bessie Eva Williams at East Meon. In 1901 Hori, now a labourer in a nursery, and Bessie had moved to 7 Old Road, Lee, London with his elder brother William, a labourer at the Royal Arsenal, and younger brother Arthur, also a labourer in a nursery, as boarders. In 1911 Hori had moved jobs and was working for the Office of Works in Greenwich Park as a propagator. By the time Hori had signed up for the army he and Bessie had seven children one of which sadly died in 1907.

Hori joined the army and was posted to 2/18th (County of London) Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, London Regiment. This battalion was posted first to France in June 1916 and then on to Salonika, Greece in November. The following July they embarked for Alexandria, Egypt and the offensive against the Turks in Palestine. On 6 December 1917, the battalion received orders that they were to take part in the attack to take Jerusalem from Turkish forces. At 12.15 am on 8 December the battalion was taking up positions when they came under considerable machine gun fire and some shelling. The men “advanced with splendid dash and enthusiasm” with the result that their first objective, Liver Redoubt, was captured at 5.45 am and their second objective, Heart Redoubt, at 6.05 am. During the day, the battalion continued advances along the Jerusalem Road. At 3.45 pm parts of the battalion took part in a charge on a ridge stronghold and, “in spite of very heavy machine gun, rifle fire and shrapnel the ridge was carried in magnificent style under the eyes of the Corps and Divisional Commanders who have signified their high appreciation”. During the day’s fighting the battalion suffered two officers and 36 ordinary ranks killed in action. Rifleman 593993 Hori Tribe was one of those casualties.

His grave can be found at the Jerusalem War Cemetery, with the reference T29.

In this video we learn about Hori Tribe from his great granddaughter Sarah.

Letters from the Front Line

During the project Mr Tribe's great granddaughter Sarah shared with us a collection of the wartime letters that he sent home to his family in England.

Click the links below to open the audio files in your computer's audio player.

Royal Parks' staff who lost their lives in World War One

Archer, Edgar George Labourer The Regent's Park
Berry, Arthur William Gardener Hampton Court
Collins, Henry Alfred Labourer Richmond Park
Dickenson, Frederick Labourer Central Parks
Foster, Herbert Labourer Central Parks
Goodall, Ernest Frank Labourer Hampton Court
Gould, William Charles Park Keeper Central Parks
Gray, Ellis James Labourer Central Parks
Hawxwell, Charles Baker Labourer Central Parks
Higgs, William Labourer Richmond Park
Johnson, Ernest Owen Labourer Osborne Gardens
Joiner, Charles William Edgerton Park Keeper Central Parks
Marsh, Albert Labourer The Regent's Park
Mead, Charles Gardener Central Parks
Mew, Charles Park Keeper Richmond Park
Parker, Frank Robert Labourer The Regent's Park
Pearce, William Benjamin Park Keeper Central Parks
Sheppard, Henry William Gardener Central Parks
Skemer, Walter Arthur Labourer Central Parks
Smith, Albert Edward Gardener Hampton Court
Smith, Arthur Walter Gardener Greenwich Park
Tribe, Hori Propagator Greenwich Park
Walsh, Francis Labourer Central Parks
Windridge, William Park Keeper Central Parks

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