Andover Advertiser 21st May 1915
WITH THE SERVICES – Mr and Mrs Sellwood, of this village, have five sons serving their country.
THE ROLL OF HONOUR – The local roll of honour now contains 100 signatures. The tragic toned echoes of the great European war were wafted to this village for the sixth time on Monday, bringing with them the sad news of the death in action of James Pike, whose widowed mother resides at Lower Rank. This makes the sixth brave son who has laid down his life for those at home, the five preceding names being as below : Frederick Day, Sidney Gunnell, Harold Moorse, Edwin Pike, Walter Sims, from which one is reminded of the saying “It never rains but it pours,” for this casualty is the second one in the same home. The little village had previous to the war seven men on the reserve of the 1st Hampshire Regiment, and up to the time of writing only one remains unbeaten in the game of war. Private James Pike was killed on April 26th. A letter received by his bereaved mother dated April 19th said he was quite well, but was afraid that he would not be able to write so often owing to being shifted. On the 25th ult., or one day before his death, the usual official postcard also stated he was quite well. Like his other village comrades who have passed beyond the veil, Jim had seen service in South Africa, where he spent six years. On returning home he went to a Darlington factory to work, and had been there over two years. Here a good job was being kept open for him if he could have returned. He leaves a widow and a baby boy.
Note – by Mike Willoughby? – James Pike born March 1884 Whitchurch H 2c 207 son of Albert and Ann Pike nee Gibbons. (they married December 1872 Whitchurch H.2c 426) Brother Herbert five years his senior and Edwin two years his senior. James married Hilda Harrison March 1913 Darlington 10a 24, they had a son Herbert born March 1914 Darlington 10a 65. According to his medal card James arrived in France on 23rd August 1914.
ANOTHER CASUALTY – The deepest sympathy will be felt with Mrs Holbrooke, of Stoke, whose youngest surviving son, Gerald, was killed in action in Flanders on May 19th. Gerald Howard Holbrooke had led a most adventurous life. He was born in 1879 and educated at the Rev. J. G. Gresson’s Preparatory School, Worthing, and at the Queen’s Service House, Portsmouth. Failing to pass into Sandhurst, he went to South Africa and was farming there when the war broke out. He at once enlisted in the Natal Mounted Police and was present at all the engagements leading up to the Relief of Ladysmith. At Colenso, where he was galloper to General Clery, he had his horse shot under him, and he was wounded at Pieter’s Hill. After the war he went to Madagascar, East Africa and India, wherever adventure was to be found. Later on he went to Canada and after serving in the North West Frontier Police, he bought land and settled down. On the outbreak of the present war he was one of the first to offer his services. He was offered a commission in the 2nd Canadian Contingent, but wanting to get to the front as soon as possible he enlisted as a private in the 18th Canadian Scottish and was present at all the severe fighting around Ypres, when the Canadians so distinguished themselves. He came of a military family which has been connected with the British Army for more than 150 years. His great grandfather Captain Bernard Holbrooke helped raise the old 97th Foot in 1759 (now the 2nd Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment) and with them served on the Continent in the Seven Years War, and was present at, and wrote an account of the Siege of Velle Isle in 1761. His grandfather Captain Frederick Holbrooke, served with the 13th Foot (now the Somerset Light Infantry) in Sir Ralph Abercrombie’s campaign in Egypt in 1801, and was present at the battles. He afterwards exchanged into the 14th Light Dragoons, now the 14th King’s Hussars. His father the late Rev. F.G. Holbrooke of Kimpton, served for some years in the old Gloucester Militia, and was just starting for the Crimea when peace was declared. Both Mrs Holbrooke’s other sons are now at the front, Major Bernard Holbrooke, 129th Baluchis, who was recently wounded at Ypres, and Major P. L. Holbrooke, D.S.C. R.G.A. who won his decoration a few weeks ago in France. Her youngest son Captain Cecil Holbrooke, R. A. M. C. died in India in 1900. Both Mrs Holbrooke’s grandsons are also at the front. Lieut. Austin Williams, 38th Lancers, Indian Army, and 2nd Lieutenant Leonard Williams, Army Service Corps.