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Malvern Wells Municipal Cemetery

Tour 2

Malvern Wells Cemetery Entrance

Entrance in Green Lane

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We returned to Malvern Wells Cemetery two years later on 20th June 2019 by arrangement with the Malvern Hills Parish Clerk, David Taverner, to photograph the WWI Roll of the Fallen in the chapel.

South door of Malvern Wells cemetery chapel

South door of Malvern Wells cemetery chapel

Steve, the groundsman, was there to let us in and he very kindly also showed us some memorials stored in the workshop at the back of the chapel which were saved from St Peter's church at the top of Green Lane, when it was converted into apartments.

We took the opportunity to photograph some other memorials in the north west quadrant of the cemetery and Steve pointed out the graves of architect Troyte Griffith, and artists Albert and Mary Stevens, which we would not otherwise have spotted. Not far away was the grave of Pilot Officer Denis Mark Weston who was killed in WWII; some months after we were contacted by Pamela Towill who knew Denis well, when she was a teenager, and was anxious his grave would continue to be maintained - Malvern Civic Society has subsequently been in contact with the CWGC about this.

Steve told us there were many teachers buried in the cemetery.


Interior of chapel

Roll of the Fallen

Plaque WWII

Plaques and tablets from St Peter's church



Interior of chapel

The  Roll of the Fallen in the chapel remembers young men who fell in WWI. There is also a plaque in memory of Lt Robin Kempson RNVR who was a casualty of WWII, uncle of the actress Vanessa Redgrave.

Malvern Wells cemetery chapel interior

The interior of Malvern Wells cemetery chapel

Roll of the Fallen

We think this Roll of the Fallen was most likely moved to its present location from the chapel of the Wells House boys' prep school, as many of the names of the casualties relate to past pupils of Wells House and one schoolmaster, Roland George Ingle. Men who came from well to do families and therefore were WWI officer material.

The Wells House school chapel was a tin tabernacle set on the side of the Malvern Hills that was converted into apartments after the school closed. You can read about Wells House on our page Malvern schools then and now.

It is most unlikely this Roll of the Fallen came from the old St Peter's church at the top of Green Lane, as these are not men of Malvern.

Roll of the Fallen in Malvern Wells Cemetery Chapel

We think we have identified most of these casualties from the CWGC website, but do tell us if we are wrong or contact us if you are able to provide more details and/or photographs. Here are brief details:

Sub Lt Donald Frank Bailey

Donald Frank Bailey was born at Richmond Surrey on 11th August 1893, the son of solicitor John and Elizabeth Bailey. Donald was a medical student at St Bartholomew’s Hospital London from 1912 to 1914, leaving the hospital to serve with a Public Schools Battalion with Lady Dudley’s Hospital in France from August 1914 to April 1915. On 11th May 1915 Donald enlisted in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He was reported missing presumed killed on 23rd April 1917 aged 23 years.

Lt Thomas Brooke Benson

Thomas Brooke Benson was born at Scarborough on 28th July 1884, the son of Rev Riou George and Mary Benson. Thomas was educated at The Wells House, Malvern and Repton before entering Sandhurst. He retired from the army in 1911 to go tea planting in Ceylon and rejoined his regiment in October 1914. He was killed in action at Neuve Chapelle on 13th March 1915.

2nd Lt Gerald Maurice Gossett Bibby

Gerald was the only son of Rev Arthur Gosset Bibby; educated Wells House and Oundle. 16 Sqn Royal Flying Corps (RFC), died 3rd March 1917, aged 19 years, when his aircraft was shot down by the Red Baron.

Lt Everard Lindesay Brine

Everard Lindesay Brine was born in Kensington, the second son of Admiral Lindesay Brine, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, with two published works: “Taiping Rebellion in China” and “Amongst American Indians”, and his wife Emily Ethel Knapton, daughter of a clergyman. He had three older sisters, and a brother. He was educated at Sherborne, and Christ Church.

Died of an illness contracted while on active service 24th September 1918, aged 27 years. Buried in Tehran War Cemetery.

Capt Halford Gay Burdett

Halford Gay Burdett was born at the Seaman’s Hospital, Greenwich on 30th January 1878, the son of Sir Henry Charles Burdett KCB, KCVO and Helen Burdett. Henry was a financier. Halford was educated at Marlborough College and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He became a barrister and married Helena Jewesbury. He was appointed second lieutenant on 13th January 1913, was promoted to Lieutenant in August 1914 and promoted to Captain in December 1914. Halford died at Tunbridge Wells 3rd March 1916 of heart failure while on active service.

2nd Lt John Vernon Campbell-Orde

John Vernon Campbell-Orde was born at Lochgilphead, Argyllshire on 8th January 1894, the son of baronet Sir Arthur J and Lady Campbell-Orde of Kilmory. He was promoted from the Officers Training Corps to Second Lieutenant on 5th September 1914 and killed in a motor accident at Canterbury 14th October 1917, aged 23 years.

John Rutter Carden

John Rutter Carden was born in Ireland, the son of Captain Andrew and Anne Berkeley Carden. He was educated at the Wells House, Malvern and served in the North West Frontier Campaign in 1889 and 1898. He died at Boulogne from wounds received in action at Ypres on 30th April 1917 aged 47 years .

Harold Ashcombe Chamen

Harold Ashcombe Chamen was born at Harlesden on 2nd March 1894, the son of William Ashcombe and Marian Mabel Chamen. He was educated at the Wells House, Malvern Wells, Lancing College and studied agriculture at Reading University. He also trained at the Royal Military College Sandhurst and was a member of the Officers Training Corps. He was first commissioned as Second Lieutenant, Special Reserve on 15th August 1914 and attached to the South Wales Borderers and later commissioned as Second Lieutenant with the Bedfordshire Regiment on 12th May 1915. He went to France on 8th July 1915. Harold died of wounds received in an attack on Guillemon on 1st August 1916 aged 22 years.

Capt Edward Martin Crawley-Boevey

Edward Martin Crawley-Boevey was born in Gloucestershire on 26th March 1873, the son of baronet Sir Thomas Hyde Crawley-Boevey and Frances Elizabeth Peters. He was educated at Rugby and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and was a noted marksman and a gifted draughtsman. He served in the Boer War and was mentioned in despatches; in August 1902 he represented his regiment at the Coronation of King Edward V11. In 1905 he married Rosalie Winifred Sartorius in London. Between 1908 and 1910 he served in East Africa. Edward went to France on 11th November 1914 and was killed in action shortly after on 24th December 1914 aged 41 years.

His younger brother Capt Thomas Russell Crawley-Boevey 14th Bn Gloucestershire Regt fell the next year dying of wounds 30th August 1915

2nd Lt John Edmund Du Buisson

John Edmund du Buisson was the son of Arthur Edmund and Helen Letitia du Buisson of Swifton, Sussex and Glynhir Llandybie. The 1911 census records him as a pupil at the Wells House in Malvern Wells.

John was killed whilst serving with C battery, 99 Brigade in Salonika on 11th October 1916 aged only 18 years. His grandfather Edmund had been vicar of Breinton in Herefordshire.

Capt Chedwode Percy Evill

Indian Army Reserve officer attached to Faridkot Imperial Service Sappers. Son of the Revd Henry Evill and Dora Evill . Died 17 July 1918 aged 29 years.

2nd Lt Ian Stewart Falconar-Stewart

Youngest son of George and Louise Falconar-Stewart of Edinburgh. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Died 24 July 1917 aged 24 years.

2nd Lt Cecil Bertie Gedge

Cecil Bertie Gedge was the son of solictor and MP Sidney Gedge of Mitcham Hall (1829 - 1923) who was the brother of Rev William Wilberforce Gedge who had founded the Wells House school.

Extract from De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour: Gedge, Cecil Bertie, 2nd Lt, 3rd Bn Royal Fusiliers and London Regt, attached Grenadier Coy, Garhwal Brigade Indian Army, only surviving child of Sydney Gedge, of Mitcham Hall, Surrey, solicitor, by his wife, Augusta, daughter of Robert Herring; born Mitcham Hall 20 Feb 1866; educated Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge; was a Barrister, being called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1891, and afterwards practised on the South-Eastern Circuit and at the Essex and Herts Sessions; joined the Sportsman’s Bn 9 Oct 1914; was gazetted 2nd Lt 3rd London Regt. 1 April 1915; went to France in June, when he was attached to the Grenadier Coy, Garhwal Brigade, and was killed in action at the Battle of Loos 25 Sept. following.

His Colonel wrote: “He was wounded early in the advance and came back and had his wounds dressed, and then went out again to lead his men, and he has not been seen since. He was a brave English gentleman, and we are glad to think he was one of us…I am very sorry to say I have had strict orders not to send forward for ‘Mention’ an officer who has been killed. If it were not for this very strict rule I should have sent forward your husband’s name.” There is one thing that may console you, and that is, your husband showed the greatest courage. He was wounded by shrapnel early in the morning, but refused to go back. He just had his men bind him up, and when the order came to go over the parapet, he led his men over like a hero.”

He was a good sportsman, being well known in Switzerland as a curler; was also a keen scholar, and had edited various publications, including “Granta” in 1890, “Huts,” 1902-3, and was sub-editor of Lord Halsbury’s “Laws of Ayland.” He married at St Margaret’s, Westminster, 6 Aug. 1892, Jessie Bickley and had a daughter Sydney Jessie.

Brigadier General Edward John Granet

Died 22nd October 1918 from wounds received at Gallipoli.

Click to read citation on Wikipedia

Lt Thomas William Maddison Greenwell

Thomas William Maddison Greenwell born June 26th 1896 at Louisville, Kentucky, America, was the son of Thomas Greenwell  born 1849 and Mary Edmunds of Louisville, Kentucky; Thomas’s brothers John Maddison and Walter Nicholas Greenwell were born in Durham England in 1853 and 1861.

At the age of 14 in 1911 Thomas had been a boarder at Wells House; later at Uppingham school. He served during WW1 as a Lieutenant of the 6th (Territorial) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, attached to the 17th Battalion Lancashire Regiment, in France and Belgium. He was killed in action on 19th July 1918 aged 22 years; possibly the last of his line.

Lt Hugh Peter Hartnoll

Son of Sir Henry Sullivan Hartnoll and Lady Hartnoll of The Old Glebe, Eggesford, Wembworthy, Devon. 

Hugh Hartnoll was born in Bassein, Burma on 16th September 1893. He was educated at The Wells House, Malvern and Clifton College. He was gazetted Second-Lieutenant, 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment on 1st September 1913 and promoted Lieutenant, 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment while serving as part of the British Expeditionary Force. Hugh went to France on 7th November 1914. Shot in the head at Neuve Chapelle 12th December 1914 aged 20 years.

His name also appears on the Eggesford War Memorial

2nd Lt Cecil Ambrose Heal

Educated Marlborough College. 1st Bn Wiltshire Regiment; died 3rd July 1915 two days after arriving at the front, aged 18 years. His father Ambrose was chairman and managing director of the Heal and Son deparment-store chain.  

2nd Lt William Godfrey Heathcote

29 Sqn RFC; educated Blundell's school.

A window in St James' church Arnside, Cumbria, records:

Pro Patria, to the glory of God and in loving memory of William Godfrey Heathcote 2nd Lt Royal Flying Corps killed in Flanders 23rd November 1917 aged 19 years; elder son of Godfrey and Mary Catherine Heathcote of Arrnside.

Major Arthur Cyril Hudson

Son of Lt Col and Mrs A H Hudson, of Wick House,  Pershore, Worcestershire.

 In 1900 Arthur joined the South Staffordshire Regiment and served in the Boer War and subsequently in India with the Royal Fusiliers. In 1908 he married Irene Cecily Clifford. Arthur was promoted to Major in 1914 and served with the British Expeditionary Force. He was wounded in August 1915 and returned to England to recover, rejoining his regiment in February 1916. He was wounded again at Thiepval on 26th September 1916 and subsequently died of his wounds 2nd October 1916 aged 37 years.

His brother Lt Aubrey Wells Hudson attached to 2nd Bn The Worcestershire Regiment fell on 20th September 1914.

Lt Harold Louis Hull

Son of the Hon H C Hull, formerly of Johannesburg, now of Muizenberg, Cape Province; husband of Louise Hull, of Muizenberg. Born at Kimberley; educated at St. Andrew's College, Grahamstown, Repton School, England, and McGill University, where he graduated in Engineering. Joined 1st Trench Mortar Battery, Canadian Field Artillery and was reported missing assumed KIA on 3rd June 1916, aged 27 years.

2nd Lt George Waldorf Huntington

Son of mining engineer Thomas Huntington of Norwich, Connecticut, USA. Educated Eton; joined the Ceylon Contingent Aug 1914, then Kings Royal Rifle Corps. Also served at Gallipoli and in Egypt. Died at the Somme 24th August 1916 aged 32 years.

2nd Lt Roland George Ingle

Son of Robert and Harriet Alice Ingle, 92, Hills Road, Cambridge. Buried in Becourt Military Cemetery. See also Cambridge Guildhall (St Paul’s Roll of Honour). The 1911 census records Roland as an assistant schoolmaster at the Wells House, Malvern Wells.

Roland George Ingle, Second Lieutenant, 10th (Grimsby Chums) Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment was killed in action at Lochnagar Crater, Somme, 1st July 1916, aged 30 years.

Capt Llewelyn Jones-Bateman

Son of Herbert Burleton Jones-Bateman, of the Indian Civil Service, and Evelyn Jones-Bateman, of Pentre Mawr, Abergele, and of Eyarth, Ruthin, North Wales. Born at Azamgarh, United Provinces, India. Royal Field Artillery. Died in France 19th March 1916 aged 27 years.

His brothers Reginald  and Francis also fell.

Lt Richard Henry Kember

Son of Arthur and Marion Kember.

Richard Henry Kember  joined the New Zealand Infantry during the First World War and was killed in action on 20 September 1916 at the Somme.

He entered Lincoln Agricultural College in New Zealand in 1913, having come from England for that purpose. When war was declared he immediately enlisted, and left New Zealand as a private in the Main Expeditionary Force. He went through the Gallipoli campaign without a scratch; gaining his commission, he accompanied his Regiment to France, where his gallant deeds won him the Military Cross.

Commodore Charles Edward Le Mesurier RN

Born Genoa Italy 1869, the son of banker Edward Algernon Le Mesurier and Elizabeth Agnes Wilson. Joined HMS Calliope in 1915 as Commander of the Fourth Light Cruiser Squadron. After taking part in the Battle of Jutland he was appointed Companion in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB) on 31st May 1916 and awarded the French Legion of Honour in September 1916.

Died of heart failure at Guy's Hospital on 10th November 1917 aged 48 years.

Uncle of the following two men:

2nd Lt Havilland Le Mesurier

Eldest son of Sir Havilland Le Mesurier KCIE CSI and Lady May Stuart Le Mesurier, Commissioner of Orissa, India.

Born in East Bengal India and educated at the Wells House School, Malvern Wells, Rugby School and University College Oxford. He applied for a commission and was appointed to the King’s Royal Rifle Corps and went to the front in May 1915. Three weeks later, on his first night in the trenches, he was shot through the throat by a sniper and sent home. He returned to France the following February and was killed in action on August 24th 1916 aged 22 years.

Worcester Herald, 2nd December 1916: 'Tiny' as we called him (he was over 6 feet five inches high) was loved by all the officers and men and his platoon would follow him anywhere.

Further details can be found on the Rugby school archives Roll of Honour

Arthur Edward Le Mesurier

Brother of the above.

Quote from the Rugby school archive:

He entered the School in 1910, and passed on in August, 1914, as a King's India Cadet, to the RMC Sandhurst. He joined his Regiment in February 1915, and, after service in India, in the North-West Frontier Province, and in Burma, was attached to the 2yth Punjabis, and proceeded with them to Mesopotamia in August, 1916. He served in the trenches until the recapture of Kut-el-Amara in February, 1917, and took part in the rapid advance on Baghdad. On March 9th, 1917, he left the camp for a walk and was never seen again. It was presumed that he was murdered by Arabs, as were several other officers, including his own Colonel, about that time. Aged 20. It was stated that he had been very plucky and willing throughout, though his health was affected and he had spent some time in hospital.

Lt Robert Evan Lewis-Lloyd RN

Robert was born at Otterhead House in Somerset on 6th April 1895, and baptised on 9th May that year at St Leonard’s Church. His parents were Robert Wharton Lewis Lloyd born 16th February 1866 in Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire, Wales and Elizabeth Alice Lewis Lloyd nee Williams, born in 1872 at Nantmel in Radnorshire. The couple had married on 16th November 1893.

Robert was drowned at sea on 12th January 1918, aged 22 years when the destroyer HMS Opal and accompanying ship HMS Narborough ran aground in bad weather off Scapa Flow. It was a disaster, all hands were lost but one.

Click to read about Robert and other Otterford casualties

Lt Norman Douglas Stuart Bruce-Lockhart

Son of headmaster Robert Bruce Lockhart and Florence Stewart McGregor. Lt Seaforth Highlanders - shot in the head leading his platoon in an attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt, near Vermelles in the Battle of Loos, France, on the 25th Sept 1915, aged 20 years.

Lt Angus Hope MacLachlan RN

Angus Maclachlan was born at Edinburgh on 14th August 1899, the son of Norman and Eliza Beatrice Maclachlan, of Ardmeallie, Banffshire. The 1911 census records him as a pupil at the Wells House, Malvern. He enrolled as a cadet in May 1912 and was killed in action 10th May 1918 aged 18 years when HMS Vindictive was deliberately sunk at Ostend.

2nd Lt Arthur Berkeley Penlington MC

Arthur Penlington, 15 Brigade Royal Field Artillery, born in Spain in 1898, was the son of civil engineer Charles Berkely Penlington and Emily Sinclair. He went to France on 12th September 1916 and was killed at Hooge on 6th October 1917. He is remembered on a brass plaque in St Lawrences church, Seale in Surrey which reads:

In ever loving memory of Arthur Berkeley Penlington, MC 2nd Lt Royal Field Artillery killed in action at Hooge, Flanders, 6th October 1917, aged 20. Thy will be done.

His name also appears on the Seale war memorial

Capt Wilfred Picton-Warlow

Born on the 6th April 1884 in Wales he was the son of Colonel John Picton Turbervill, previously Picton-Warlow, a former officer in the Madras Staff Corps, who had changed his name by deed poll as a result of inheriting Ewenny Manor, a large property in Wales, in 1891. Click to read about Ewenny Priory and the Turbevills

Capt Wilfred Picton-Warlow Royal Flying Corps left France in December 1914 for leave in England but never arrived and was believed to have drowned after his aircraft crashed into the sea.

Click to read his story

Lt Stephen Argent Ffennell Pilgrim

Stephen Argent Ffennell Pilgrim born 1899 Foulridge, Lancashire was the son of solicitor William Argent Pilgrim and Lydia Roberta Ffennell. The 1911 census records him as a pupil at Wells House. Served in the Machine Gun Corps and Tank Corps. Died 24th September 1918 aged 19 years. Remembered on the Foulridge war memorial.

Capt Phillip Bernard Prothero

Phillip Bernard Prothero, born 1894 Ayrshire, was the son of Edward Douglas and Margaret Caroline Prothero. Served with 24 Sqn Royal Flying Corps. Shot down and killed 26th July 1917 aged 23 years.

Capt Rupert George Raw DSO

Rupert was born 1880 in South Africa the son of George Henry Raw and  Edith Sarah Taylor. Served in the Boer war and then became a stockbroker.

Later served with 8th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers and was killed at Gallipoli 7th August 1915 aged 35 years. He left a wife Winifred and son George Rupert.

2nd Lt John Shute Reid

Son of Major Edgar Reid Territorial Force RAMC of 164, St Helens Rd, Swansea. Educated at Wells House, Malvern and Sedbergh Schools. 2nd Bn South Wales Borderers attached to 87th Trench Mortar Battery. Killed 17th August 1917 aged 20 years.

2nd Lt James Thursby Roberts

Son of Major H H Roberts, of Westow Croft, Kirkham Abbey, York.

Educated Wells House, Uppingham and Sandhurst.

2nd Bn The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment). Mortally wounded on 14th July he died at Netley Hampshire 20th July 1916 aged 20 years.

Midshipman John Sims RN

De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour records:  Sims, John, Naval Cadet, Royal Navy, HMS Bulwark, eldest son of Charles Sims of Lodsworth, Petworth, ARA, by his wife Agnes Helen, daughter of the late John MacWhirter RA; born Hammersmith, London, 17th October 1898; educated The Wells House, Malvern Wells; entered the Navy Sept 1911; appointed to HMS Bulwark 16th August 1914, and was lost when the ship blew up off Sheerness 26th November 1914. This was possibly due to a flaw in the ship's design.

Capt Loscombe Law Stable

He is recorded on the Winchester College Roll of Honour. To quote:

Son of Daniel Winteringham Stable barrister and Director of the Prudential Assurance Company of Wanstead, Essex and Plas Llwyn Owen, Llanbrynmair, Montgomery and of Gertrude, daughter of George Still Law.

He came to Winchester from the Wells House School, Malvern Wells. He passed into Sandhurst in 1905 and in 1907 obtained a commission in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, joining the 2nd Battalion at Agra later that year. He served six years in Burma and India where he represented his battalion in many matches, his final triumph was to be on the winning team in the 1913 Infantry Polo Tourament at Delhi.

He returned home in 1913. When war broke out he left at once with the original British Expeditionary Force and was allocated to 19 Brigade, seeing action near Quievran on 24th August and then joining the Retreat from Mons. He was promoted Captain on 21st October 1914. He fell 26th October 1914 between Armentieres and Fromelles whilst bringing in one of his men who had been left wounded between the lines.

Lt Roger Cecil Taylor

Roger Cecil Taylor was born in Argentina in 1897, the son of Sugar Manufacturer Samuel Taylor (1858 - 1935) and Mary Caroline Tweedsdale (1859 - 1951). The 1911 census record Roger as a pupil at the Wells House, when the headmaster was Ernest Prescott Frederick.

Lt Roger Cecil Taylor 7 Bn South Staffordshire Regiment was killed at Ypres in Belgium on 4th October 1917 aged 20 years. He was survived by his parents, sister Ellen Mary and elder brother Roger Samuel.

Click to view memorial inside St John the Evangelist, Bourne End.

Capt Arnold Reed Tillie

Son of WJ and Alice P Tillie, of Elstow, Londonderry, Ireland. The Tillie family manufactured shirts and collars at factories in Glasgow and Derry.

Arnold served as a flight commander with 16th Sqn Royal Flying Corps and died 11th May 1916 aged 22 years.

Three of his brothers served in the army. His brother Second Lieutenant John Archibald Tillie was killed in July 1918.

Capt Claude Wreford-Brown

5th Bn Northumbria Fusiliers, died Ypres 24th May 1915 aged 39 years.

Click to read his story on the Bristol Cathedral website


Plaque WWII

Plaque in memory of Lt Robin Kempson RNVRThe plaque on the opposite wall to the Roll of the Fallen reads:

In memory of Lieutenant Robin Kempson RNVR of HMS Prince of Wales and of his shipmates of the Tug Elizabeth who lost their lives in the Banka Strait Sumatra 16th February 1942.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Lt Eric John 'Robin' Kempson, aged 25 years, formerly attached to the battleship HMS Prince of Wales sunk by Japanese bombers on 10th December 1941, had been a member of the crew of the tug Elizabeth evacuating men from the shore when it was shelled by a Japanese destroyer. Click to read story.

Robin was the son of teacher Eric William Edward Kempson and Beatrice Hamilton Ashwell,  and the younger brother of Rachel Kempson (1910 - 2003) who married Sir Michael Redgrave and was the mother of actresses Vanessa, Corin and Lynn Redgrave.

His elder brother Nicholas Lawrence Turner Kempson pursued a career in the Royal Navy serving as a Signals Officer during much of the war and survived the conflict.

Eric Kempson senior, born Hereford, had a distinguished career. Attended Trinity College Cambridge BA 1902; MA 1927. Naval Instructor RN 1904 - 1907. Master at the RN College Dartmouth, 1907 - 1911. Senior Physics Master at Rugby, 1911 - 19. Served in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Major RE and RASC, MC, in Palestine with the Royal Engineers; mentioned twice in despatches. HM Inspector of Schools 1919 - 27. Headmaster of the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, 1927 - 1942. Author with CE Ashford of Elementary Theory of Direct Current Dynamo Electric Machinery; Introduction to Magnetism and Electricity. Died July 23, 1948.

Perhaps it was just a coincidence that the founder of Wells House Rev William Wilberforce Gedge married France Anne Kempson, and their daughter Florence Ellen married second her cousin Henry Kempson a master at Malvern College. However even if no relation it seems quite likely that Robin Kempson had been educated at the Wells House and the plaque was moved from the Wells House after the school closed.

Plaques and tablets from St Peter's church

When St Peter's church at the top of Green Lane was converted to apartments, circa 2002, some plaques were saved which are now stored in the workshop at the west end of Malvern Wells cemetery chapel amongst the garden tools.

British History Online records, to quote:

The church of ST PETER, Malvern Wells, was built in 1836 from the designs of Mr Garrard of Clifton. It is of stone in a modern adaptation of 13th-century style, and consists of chancel, nave, north and south transepts and north porch. The vicarage was in the patronage of Rev. P. Boissier from 1836 until 1859. The Rev F Hopkinson was patron from 1859 to 1869, the Rev F Kewley from 1869 to 1871, the Rev F S Perfect from 1871 to 1892, and Mrs Finnie, who provided an endowment, from 1892 to 1898, when the advowson was vested in the Bishop of Worcester.

West end of Malvern Wells cemetery chapel

West end of Malvern Wells cemetery chapel

Ellen Hopkinson

This fractured and worn tablet reads:

To the glory of God and in memory of Ellen Hopkinson, for 62 years resident at the Dell, widow of the Rev F Hopkinson, vicar this parish xx records the placing of the oak altar by parishioners and friends August 29th 1911.

In memory of Ellen Hopkinson

Ellen Hopkinson

In 1911 Ellen, the widow of Rev Francis Hopkinson, was still residing at the Dell a large white house lying between the old St Peter's church and Malvern Wells cemetery. The census records the Dell had 19 principal rooms and Ellen had a butler, cook/housekeeper, lady's maid, house maid and kitchen maid. Ellen died at the Dell on 21st June 1911 shortly after the census was taken. Later the Dell became a hotel.

Arthur Hugh Courtney Galbraith

The plaque reads:

In thankful memory of Arthur Hugh Courtney Galbraith Lieutenant Royal Garrison Artillery, elder son of the late Major-General Sir William Galbraith KCB who gave his life for his country on Sept 9th 1918 aged 21 years. 'It is Well'

Galbraith plaque

Lt Arthur Hugh Courtney Galbraith

Lieutenant Arthur Hugh Courtney Galbraith 285th Siege Battery, 83rd Artillery Brigade, Royal Garrison Artillery, BEF died of gas poisoning aged 21 years and is buried in France.

As far as we know Arthur, who was born in India, had no connection with Malvern Wells. The plaque was most likely commissioned by his widowed mother and younger brother Ian William Galbraith (1898 - 1939). In 1924 Ian had married Mary Florence Baker daughter of retired Rear Admiral Julian Alleyne Baker (1848 - 1922) and Geraldine Eugenie Alison (1866 - 1934) of The Dell, Malvern Wells - their marriage may have been at St Peter's.

Possibly Arthur's widowed mother Dame Helen Mary Galbraith had lodged with Geraldine Baker as a companion at The Dell after their husbands died; certainly, Helen appears to have stayed in Malvern and died at Carinthia, Cowleigh Road, Great Malvern in 1942.

Tragically Ian Galbraith MC and his wife who returned to India were both drowned in 1939 when their canoe capsized on the Indus river. They were survived by a son and two daughters.

Emma Hodgson

This tablet reads in memory of Emma Hodgson, for nearly 47 years the dear and good wife of William Pritchit Hodgson of Malvern Wells, a fond and loving mother, an excellent and worthy woman, died14th July 1897 aged 73 years

Plaque in memory of Emma Hodgson

Emma Hodgson nee Martin

Retired army surgeon William Pritchit Hodgson and his wife are buried beneath the prominent pink granite tombs surrounded by railings 20 yards or so south of the chapel.

Alice Mary Freeman

The artistic plaque below reads:

Sacred to the memory of Alice Mary Freeman. Born 9th Oct 1849. Died 19th Nov 1931. Widow of Harold Freeman. This tablet is erected in loving remembrance by her children, grand-children and great grandchildren.

Plaque in memory of Alice  Mary Freeman

Alice Mary Freeman

Harold Freeman

The next plaque reads:

Sacred to the memory of Harold Freeman, for 24 years a resident at Thorn Bank, Malvern Wells, and a regular attendant at this church. Father of the above Edward. He survived his only son less than 6 months. Born 15th Jan 1850. Died 15th July 1916.

Plaque in memory of Harold Freeman

Harold Freeman

Harold Freeman was the grandson of Edward Augustus Freeman Professor of Modern History at Oxford University.

His son, Major Edward Freeman 10th Bn, The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 76th Brigade, 3rd Division, B.E.F. was killed in action on 3rd March 1916. He left a widow and 3 children.

Much later in the 1940s Thorn Bank, became a school for young ladies.

Arthur Edwardson

This simple tablet reads:

In loving memory of Arthur Edwardson, the altar rail was erected by his parents June 1936.

In memory of Arthur Edwardson

Arthur Edwardson

The National Probate Calendar records Arthur William Malcolm Edwardson of 'Elsdon' Malvern Wells died 6th June 1935 at Sunny Court Caterham. He was born Sidcup in 1903 and is recorded as a clerk travelling to Seattle and Japan.


Martha Smith

This ornate plaque reads:

In loving memory of Martha Smith, The Manse, Malvern Wells. Born Feb 25th 1815. Died April 5th 1886. This tablet and a window in the nave were erected by pupils and friends. 'Now Jesus loved Martha' St John XI 5.

I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

In memory of Martha Smith

Martha Smith

Martha Smith ran a small ladies boarding school at The Manse with her niece and is mentioned in our article Malvern schools then and now.



Denis Mark Weston

Troyte Griffith

Illingworth Varley

Eleanor and Mabel Varley

Albert and Mary Stevens

Thomas McMurdo Heywood

Mary Ann Jones

William John Graham

John William Willan


Denis Mark Weston

Denis Mark WestonPhoto of Denis opposite, courtesy of P Dowley-Wise (ref 7)

The inscription reads:

In loving memory of Denis Mark Weston Pilot Officer RAFVR killed on active service 29th May 1941 aged 21 years.

I bare you on eagles wings and brought you unto myself.


Grave of Denis Weston

Inscription to Denis Mark Weston

Denis, attached to 11 OTU, lost control of a Wellington bomber while making a night approach towards the runway at Cranfield, crashing 2 miles SW of the airfield. In those days, night flying was a hazardous activity for trainees.

Denis was born Halifax Yorkshire in 1920 the son of clergyman Rev Percy Moss Weston and his second wife Margaret Ellen Edgson. At the outbreak of war the family was living at Link Tower Lodge a large house located near the junction of Albert Park Road, with Somers Road and Newtown Road in Malvern Link.

Link Tower Lodge

Link Tower Lodge, Denis's home

Pamela Dowley-Wise in 1942Pamela Justine Dowley-Wise and her younger sister Patricia born in India were boarders at nearby Clarendon girls' school in North Malvern when their mother took a house next to the Westons and the families became close friends.

At the outbreak of war Pamela's father thought the family would be safer in India and so it was Denis and the Westons waved goodbye to Pamela and Patricia at Malvern Link Station.

A few months later Pamela received news that Denis had been killed, but she never forgot him and in later life arranged that his grave would be cared for (ref 7, 8).

Photo opposite: Pamela in 1942 (ref 7)

Grave of Denis Weston

Wider view of Denis Mark Weston's grave showing location

Denis is also remembered at Holy Trinity church where the Weston family worshipped.

Troyte Griffith

Walking up the path from the chapel, we turned up a path to the right, and behind the Varley family grave (see below) found the resting place of local architect Troyte Griffith who had an office in the Abbey Gateway and was a character in his day. The simple inscription on the side of the kerbing is fading now and becoming difficult to read. 

Grave of architect Troyte Griffiths

Arthur Troyte Griffith 17th Jan 1942

You can read more about Troyte in Jeremy Hardie's book - Troyte Griffith, Malvern Architect and Elgar's Friend.

Elgar named his 7th Enigma Variation after his friend 'Troyte'.

Illingworth Varley

Next to the grave of Troyte Griffith is the Varley family grave.

Varley family grave

Varley family grave

The first headstone records:

In loving memory of Illingworth Varley 1869 - 1942 Artist and Headmaster of Malvern School of Art for 28 years and of his wife Eleanor 1870 - 1951 Companion in the Arts.

Whatsoever things are lovely, think on these things...

Grave of Illingworth Varley

Illingworth and Eleanor Varley

We found this biography on the Not Just Hockney website. To quote:

Illingworth Varley (1869-1942) was born in Saltaire. He trained at the Saltaire and Shipley Schools of Art, later teaching at both schools. Between 1893-94 he studied in London at St John’s Wood School of Art and Hampstead School of Art, where he received various awards and medals. He then spent three years teaching in Macclesfield School of Art before returning to London, studying at the Royal College of Art in 1901. He held several teaching posts in London and in 1907 was appointed Headmaster of Malvern School of Art, a position he occupied until his retirement in 1935, when he was succeeded by the artist Victor Hume Moody. Illingworth exhibited work at the Royal Academy and at other London and regional galleries, including Birmingham and Worcester.

On the Not Just Hockney website you will find a lovely portrait of Illingworth Varley by his daughter Mabel.

Eleanor and Mabel Varley

Daughters Eleanor and Mabel lie alongside their parents. Their inscription reads:

Eleanor Doris Varley 1902 - 1976, Principal Lowestoff School of Art

Mabel Illingworth Varley 1907 - 1992 Art Mistress St James's Malvern.

Grave of Eleanor and Mabel Varley

Eleanor Doris and Mabel Illingworth Varley

The Suffolk Artists website has a biography of Eleanor, to quote:

Eleanor Doris Varley (1902 - 1976) was born at Willesden London on 26 October 1902, daughter of Illingworth Varley, artist and art teacher, and his wife Eleanor nee Pack, who married at Hendon, Middlesex in 1900. In 1911, 44 year old Illingworth and 40 year old Eleanor, were living at Knoll Lodge, Malvern Wells with their two daughters, 8 year old Eleanor Doris and 4 year old Mabel Illingworth, who later was also an artist. Eleanor was educated at Lawnside, Great Malvern and studied at Willesden and Regent Street Polytechnic Schools of Art after which she held several teaching positions in East Anglia and in the North of England eventually becoming principal of Lowestoft School of Arts and Crafts and lived at Lowestoft for many years. In 1939, an assistant art finisher, living at 52 Acton Road, Lowestoft and a member and exhibitor at the Norfolk & Norwich Art Circle 1946-1953 from Lowestoft. A painter in watercolour and a draughtsman in pen and ink, also exhibiting at the Society of Women Artists; Royal Academy and widely in Norfolk and Suffolk and was an illustrator of several books including 'Soil and Sense' and 'The Fish Gate' by Michael Graham. Eleanor died at Knoll Lodge, Malvern Wells, Worcestershire on 6 September 1976, she was unmarried.

 Albert and Mary Stevens

At the western boundary wall we turned north and a few yards along found the headstone of artists Albert and Mary Stevens who came to Malvern Wells in later life and had a studio at the Manse.

Behind, laid against the wall, are some little wooden crosses which we think may have originally marked the burials of the nuns in their plot near the cemetery entrance.

Grave of Albert and Mary Stevens

The grave of artists Albert and Mary Stevens

You have to look closely to read the inscription - what at first sight is a heart is in fact an artist's palette on which is written:

Albert Stevens, artist, 1847 - 1934

Mary Stevens, artist, 1863 - 1947

Grave of Albert and Mary Stevens

The headstone of artists Albert and Mary Stevens

They are recorded in the Dictionary of Victorian Painters thus:

Stevens, Albert, flourished 1872 - 1902

London landscape painter, Exhib mainly at SS, also RA 1877 - 1902, NWS GG and elsewhere. Titles at RA include English views, also Switzerland and Italy.

Stevens Albert Mrs, flourished 1889 - 1894

(Miss Mary Draper)

Painted animals and landscape. Exhib 5 works at the RA 1889 - 1894 including 'How I wonder what you are' and 'An alpine meadow. London address.

Thomas McMurdo Heywood

The National Probate Calendar records Thomas McMurdo Heywood of Beriscote, Peachfield Road, Malvern Wells died at home on 5th March 1936, leaving a widow, Annie Maria Heywood nee Evans who he had married at Cardiff in 1917. He was born in Cornwall in 1848, the son of Paymaster in Chief RN Thomas Spearman Heywood and Amelia Arankra Therza Heywood.

The 1911 census  records him as a ship broker living in  a large house in Penarth with his first wife Mary Fergus by whom he had 3 children, Amelia, Thomas Edward Hett and Lizzie Fergus. He also had a daughter by Annie, Jean McMurdo Heywood born in 1922 who in 1942 married David Seymour de Coucey Howard, younger son of Baronet Sir Harold Walter Seymour Howard.

Grave of Thomas McMurdo Heywood

Thomas McMurdo Heywood 1848 - 1936

Mary Ann Jones

The inscription reads:

Mary Ann, widow of Rev John Grey Jones MA, fell asleep August 27th 1905.

Mary had been living at the 'Cliff' in Holywell Road, Malvern Wells.

Grave of Mary Anne Jones

Mary Ann Jones nee Jackson

According to the census Rev John Grey Jones had been born at Foy Vicarage in Hereford in 1819. He had married Mary Ann Jackson at Newark in 1849 by whom he had two daughters Letitia and Mary. Up until his death in 1882 he was Vicar of Somersby in Lincolnshire.

William John Graham

The inscription reads:

In loving memory of William John Graham, formerly of Fowey, Cornwall, beloved husband of Mary Josephine Graham died June 23rd 1940 aged 83 years; also of Mary Josephine Graham died April 9th1943, aged 86.

Grave William John Graham

William John  Graham

Mary Josephine Graham nee Burrow

The 1911 census describes the couple living in Fowey at Carnethick having 17 rooms. He is a solicitor, married 29 year, and the couple have 6 children.

In 1881 William had married Mary Josephine Eliza Burrow at Malvern. She was the daughter of pharmaceutical chemist Walter, and Josephine Burrow. The story of the Burrow brothers is well known to local historians:-

In Victorian times the chemist shop on Belle Vue Terrace in Great Malvern (lately Manders)) was owned by three men; John Lea, William Perrins and the manager Walter Beeken Burrow. The shop front still displays the brass pillars dating back to this time. Lea, Perrins and Burrow started selling spring water and soda water and, for a while, they owned the sole rights to bottling and selling the water from Holywell and St Ann's Well. In 1850, Walter and his brother John Severn Burrows bought out Lea and Perrins and expanded the bottling business, eventually moving to the bottling plant which is now the Robson Ward Courtyard on Belle Vue Terrace.

Walter Beeken Burrow died in 1913 at Strensham, Malvern Wells and Mary Josephine was his executor.

Lea and Perrins went on to create and manufacture Worcestershire sauce, a much more profitable business as things turned out. 

Grave of William John Graham

View of NW corner of cemetery and Graham memorial


John William Willan

The inscription reads:

In affectionate memory of John William Willan (son of the late Thomas Willan MRCS) who died April 23rd 1916 at Vaughan Lodge, Malvern Wells in his 72nd year.

Also of James Nathaniel Willan MA Oxford brother of the above who died Feb 27th 1929 at Beaconhurst, Malvern Wells  in his 83rd year.

Also of Eliza Charlotte Willan sister of the above who died January 4th 1934 in her 82nd year.

Also of Mary Ann Willan sister of the above who died November 13th 1939 at Beaconhurst, Malvern Wells.

Grave of John William Willans

The 1911 census describes John William Willan, single, born London, as a retired shipping insurance agent lodging at Vaughan Lodge. His brother James obtained a degree from Pembroke College Oxford and became a tutor in Bath. In 1911 James is described as a retired tutor living in Derby Road Bournemouth with his two sisters, who were born at Bishops Frome on the west side of the Malvern Hills. None of them married.

Their father Thomas Willan was born at Wichenford to the north of the Malvern Hills about 1809. He studied to become a surgeon at London where he married Jane Lee at St Mary Lambeth in 1840. In 1851 he was a farmer of 85 acres at Bishops Frome. In 1861 he was recorded as a surgeon living at Yew Tree House, Hanley. Thomas died in 1863 at Canterbury Tye Farm Shenfield in Essex. In those times there were more medical men than jobs and it appears Thomas may have had an ambition either to augment his income by farming,  or becoming a gentleman farmer, possibly through an inheritance.

His younger brother Henry born nearby at Kenswick was also a physician recorded residing at Albion Lodge, Hanley, now a care home. He had married second in 1859 Emily Mary Saunders and they were the parents of 10 children. Possibly earlier in his career Henry had served with the RN as a surgeon during the Opium Wars.

Thomas and Henry's father John Hemming Willan 1784 - 1826 was born in London. Their grandfather was John Willan who may have been proprietor of the prosperous Bull and Mouth coaching Inn in London which was demolished in 1888.

View across Malvern Wells cemetery

Looking from path to western boundary


  1. Information about the consecration of Malvern Wells cemetery, from Bernette Arrowsmith, 13th June 2019
  2. National Probate Calendar
  3. Information from S Maund
  4. CWGC website
  5. Remember the Fallen website
  6. Malvern Remembers website
  7. Communication from Pamela Towill, November 2019
  8. Dowley-Wise, Justine, In Those Days, a scrapbook of growing up in India


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